School Improvement

On Being College Prep: Examining the Implementation of a 'College for All' Mission In An Urban Charter School

This article presents a four-year case study on the impact that an urban college preparatory charter high school had on the postsecondary outcomes of its graduates. Through analysis of staff and teacher interviews, the impact that logistical constraints and staff turnover had on the implementation of the school’s mission to prepare educationally and socially disadvantaged students for college was revealed.

Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts’ Implementation

This paper from the Center on Educational Policy reports on a national survey in early 2011 of school districts’ perceptions of the impact of the common core state standards (CCSS), district progress in implementing the standards, and any challenges they have experienced in doing so. The report discusses the results of the survey based on state and district responses. The questions posed covered a range of topics, including district budgets, federal stimulus money, education reform, and the CCSS.

State-Level High School Improvement Systems Checklist

This National High School Center checklist is designed to help states at various stages develop their system of support to reach struggling high schools. The checklist can be used to assess where your state is in terms of the elements of using existing support and guidance mechanisms, and reconfiguring and/or creating new structures to leverage system change for high school improvement. The elements listed in the checklist may be helpful in establishing or refining your state’s education planning and implementation process.

Preparing Students for College: The Implementation and Impact of the Early College High School Model

This randomized controlled trial published in the Peabody Journal of Education assessed the effects of Early College High Schools (ECHS). The sample included 132 ninth-grade students enrolled in two ECHS in North Carolina and 159 control students. Results showed that a larger percentage of ECHS students progressed more rapidly through a college preparatory track of study, compared to control-group students.

Peer Networks in School Reform: Lessons from England and Implications from the United States

This policy brief from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform examines policies and activities related to establishing peer networks and external collaborations in England and in New York City. It identifies differences in English policy and practice that allow English schools to facilitate more effective and more prolific external peer networks, including local support for privately-operated external networks, a focus on principal networking, and ample time for both teachers and principals to participate in peer networks.

Incentives for Early Graduation: How Can State Policies Encourage Students to Complete High School in Less than Four Years?

This policy brief sponsored by Jobs For The Future discusses early high school graduation policies. The author examines the effects of early high school graduation policies including brief discussions on the purpose of early graduation policies, the costs and benefits of early graduation policies and designs of state policies.

Framework for Developing A System of Linked Learning Pathways

This framework, sponsored by ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, discusses critical elements needed to build district infrastructure for Linked Learning, California’s system of preparing students for college and careers. The author identifies 17 critical elements that district leaders must consider to properly support Linked Learning. These critical elements are organized into three categories: (1) Leadership and Systems Alignment, (2) Pathway Design and Quality, and (3) Operations.

Special Education in High School Redesign

This annotated bibliography, co-authored by the National High School Center and the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center, identifies articles that address high school redesign as it relates to students with disabilities and special education’s role in such initiatives. The articles are organized around the National High School Center’s Eight Elements of High School Improvement: A Mapping Framework to ensure a more comprehensive set of resources that address the key systemic elements of high school improvement.

High School Policy Reform: A Plan for Success

This report by the Campaign for High School Equity (CHSE) examines different aspects of high school reform. The author makes six recommendations for high schools to improve education equity for all students: (1) make all students proficient and prepared for college and work, (2) hold high schools accountable for student success, (3) redesign the American high school, (4) provide students with the excellent leaders and teachers they need to succeed, (5) invest communities in student success, and (6) provide equitable learning conditions for all students.

Helping Students Get Back On Track: What Federal Policymakers Can Learn from New York City’s Multiple Pathways to Graduation Initiative

This report from the Alliance for Excellent Education discusses possible reforms to ESEA using New York City’s Multiple Pathways to Graduation initiative as an example of how to create flexible policy to help high school students graduate college and career ready. The author examines the effects of federal policy on off-track students and provides recommendations that include increased focus on policies that address the needs of off track students and new metrics for school performance that take into account improvements among at risk students.


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