In this report from Jobs for the Future, the authors discuss examples of states that developed policies and strategies to support schools integrating high school and postsecondary education. The report looks at case studies from four states--Ohio and Utah that implemented fiscal policies, and Georgia and Texas that focused on alignment issues across high school and college--and provides lessons for educators and policymakers looking to support and sustain early college high schools in their states.
This report from the American Youth Policy Forum and the Pathways to College Network describes comprehensive reform models designed to increase college access. The authors look at the predictors of college-going behavior as addressed within the school reform movement, determine promising practices from existing reform initiatives, and make recommendations for the future.
This Alliance for Excellent Education policy brief provides an overview of the data collected on student writing achievement, recommends more opportunities for students to practice writing in school, encourages schools to teach better writing instruction, and offers policymakers suggestions on how to support school improvement efforts in this area.
This ACT, Inc., policy report discusses and investigates the inconsistencies between a typical high school curriculum and what a student needs to know in order to be prepared for the workforce or postsecondary education. The report also stresses that the lack of academic rigor found in many high schools plays a part in the ensuing disconnect.
This report, commissioned by the California Teachers Association’s (CTA) High School Restructuring Task Force and authored by WestEd, synthesizes the major initiatives on high school reform taking place nationally and in California. The publication provides: 1) clear synthesis of the problem and context; 2) research on high-performing high schools, comprehensive school reform models, and the barriers to improvement; 3) current reform proposals and their research base; and 4) suggestions for further discussion and exploration by CTA.
This report from MDRC looks at how three different high school reform models--Career Academies, First Things First, and Talent Development--addressed five challenges found to be obstacles to successful reform implementation in low-performing high schools. According to this report, the pillars of high school reform are structural changes to improve personalization and instructional improvement. The report offers tangible solutions as well as supporting evidence and various resources.
The National High School Center released methods for improving low-performing high schools based on some of the most rigorous research currently available in the school reform arena. This research brief identifies lessons learned as well as key practices used to strengthen high schools and is based on evaluations of four widely used high school improvement programs - Career Academies, First Things First, Project GRAD, and Talent Development.
This report from ACT, Inc., recommends that considerable experience with complex reading texts in high school is the key to the development of college-level reading skills, and is the clearest differentiator of students who are ready for the post-secondary world of college and/or work versus those who are not. The report also defines the types of materials that need to be included in all high school courses, and offers recommendations to educators and policymakers on how to help increase the number of high school graduates who are ready for college-level reading.
ACT’s report recommends that schools strengthen their core high school curriculum to better prepare students for post-secondary success. Even with a high school diploma, many students leave high school without the necessary skills that will assist them in college or the workforce and research demonstrates that students at all levels of achievement benefit from taking rigorous courses.
This randomized controlled trial study by MDRC examined the impact of Career Academies. Although Career Academies had some significant positive impact on high school outcomes, such as school engagement and participation in career awareness and work-related activities, they did not significantly make a difference on course content and classroom instructional practices, likelihood of graduating high school, college enrollment, and employment.