School Improvement

On the Road to Implementation: Achieving the Promise of the Common Core State Standards

This brief from Achieve identifies the key areas that state policymakers should consider in order to implement the new Common Core State Standards with fidelity. The brief provides suggestions for aligning these new standards with their existing standards and course requirements, as well as aligning assessments for collecting data and measuring achievement. The brief lists steps each state can take to ensure they are implementing the standards effectively.

Creating College Readiness: Profiles of 38 Schools That Know How

This report provides a profile of 38 schools and details how these schools have implemented strategies to promote and advance college readiness. The report outlines each school, characteristics that make the school unique, and lessons learned from undertaking particular strategies. The report is organized into six sections: 1) alternative schools, 2) charter schools, 3) comprehensive schools, 4) early college high schools, 5) magnet schools, and 6) private schools. In several cases, schools may have utilized more than one strategy to achieve their goal.

Stepping It Up: Building Pathways to College Success in Pennsylvania and Nationwide

This paper presents findings from the Pennsylvania Governor's Conference on Higher Education in March 2009 surrounding ways to improve college success. The paper presents four steps to achieving this derived from analysis of the presentations. The steps include: 1) identifying the challenges to increased college success; 2) creating and action plan for success; 3) putting the plan into action; and, 4) working together to increase college success.

Building Capacity to Promote College- and Career-Readiness for Secondary-Level English Language Learners: Policy Brief Featuring Austin, Texas

This policy brief discusses the growing second-language learner population in schools. Through case studies of schools in Austin and the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, it provides state and federal policymakers recommendations for policy changes that can help schools increase student achievement among this population.

Grad Nation: A Guidebook to Help Communities Tackle The Dropout Crisis

This guidebook is a step-by-step guide for schools, families and the community on how to be involved in addressing the dropout crisis. The authors provide research-based information and tools with each section to be used in implementing programs specific to the community. Each section provides background information on topics relevant to the community as a whole such as the cost of high dropout rates, along with questions techniques, strategies, and additional resources to address the community needs.

Taking Root : Lessons Learned for Sustaining the College- and Career-Ready Agenda

This study looks at reforms successfully sustained in four states – Texas, Indiana, Massachusetts, & South Carolina – to develop strategies and processes that can be implemented by others to achieve similar sustainability in their efforts of college- and career ready education reform. It discusses ten strategies used within these four states and summarizes the lessons learned from each.

Defining A 21st Century Education

This paper from the Center for Public Education is aimed at defining the educational skills needed in the 21st century. The author first outlines how the world is changing and the impacts on work and life. This includes automation of formerly human-performed tasks, globalization of the economy, and restructuring of traditional organizational hierarchies, along with a rapidly changing and more diverse demographic population who have more individual responsibility over their lives.

Advancing Adolescent Literacy: The Cornerstone of School Reform

This report is a review of an adolescent literacy initiative established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its broader efforts to increase student achievement, specifically among historically under-served populations. The author explains the process undertaken in developing the Advancing Literacy Initiative over time and how the Carnegie Corporation parlayed that work into the effort that allowed adolescent literacy to define the education reform movement.

Roadmap for Reform

This report, sponsored by Digital Learning Now, identifies 72 measures that state policy makers should incorporate into their state policy in order to facilitate high quality digital learning for all students. The authors stress the importance of providing all students access to digital forms of learning, including virtual and blended learning, using digital learning to provide personalized learning trajectories, and providing quality content, instruction and choices through digital learning.


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