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All Students Ready for Success: State Efforts to Improve High Schools Becky Smerdon, Vice President & Deputy Director, U.S. Education and Workforce Development.

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Presentation on theme: "All Students Ready for Success: State Efforts to Improve High Schools Becky Smerdon, Vice President & Deputy Director, U.S. Education and Workforce Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 All Students Ready for Success: State Efforts to Improve High Schools Becky Smerdon, Vice President & Deputy Director, U.S. Education and Workforce Development June 19, 2008

2 High School Students Want to Go to College……… Most students expect to attend college (High School Survey of Student Engagement, 2005; U.S. Department of Education, 2006). The number of students entering college after high school has increased nearly forty percent over the past 30 years (U.S. Department of Education, 2006).

3 But Too Many Are Not Prepared…. Only one-third of high school seniors scored “proficient” on the reading portion of National Assessment of Educational Progress, with less than one-quarter scoring proficient in mathematics (U.S. Department of Education, 2006a). Among high school juniors and seniors taking the ACT college entrance exams, only half of the students were ready for college- level reading assignments in core subjects like English, mathematics, and science (ACT, 2006). Nearly one-third of all freshmen enroll in at least one remedial course in a community college or four-year institution and the costs are high (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2006). We spend a billion dollars a year to make up for what students didn’t receive in high school (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2006).

4 Approximately three-quarters of public high school students graduate in four years (NCES, Average Freshmen Graduation Rate, 2006), with graduation rates significantly and alarmingly lower in high-poverty and high-minority districts (EPE Research Center, 2006). And Too Many Are Not Even Graduating High School

5 Great Opportunities: The Perfect Storm? Significant funding has been committed to creating data systems that track students over time. Accountability provisions require that students who have been under the radar become visible. Chronically low performing schools are mandated to reinvent themselves. Even Oprah has talked about educational challenges and opportunities.

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7 Coalition of Essential Schools Asia Society International Schools Network Council of Chief State School Officers Forum for Youth Investment National Association of Secondary School Principals National Association of State Boards of Education National Conference of State Legislatures National Governors Association-Phase One Honor States High School Grants Southern Regional Education Board U.S. Department of Education-Adult Literacy and Family Literacy Act Achieve Inc.- American Diploma Project Rural School and Community Trust Alliance for Excellent Education National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform Knowledge Works Foundation American Youth Policy Forum The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Career Academy Support Network, UC Berkeley Chicago Community Trust College Board, EXCELerator Schools Consortium on Chicago School Research Jobs for the Future Institute for Research and Reform in Education, First Things First U.S Department of Education- State Scholars Initiative U.S. Department of Education-Carl D. Perkins Grant Great Lakes East Comprehensive Assistance Center Great Lakes West Comprehensive Assistance Center Academy for Urban Development Accelerated PLUS Annenberg Institute ATLAS Learning Communities Big Picture Schools Center for Urban Schools Chicago Charter School Foundation Christo Rey Model EDC EDVisions Expeditionary Learning First Things First GEAR Up High Schools That Work Knowledge Works Academy for Educational Development Learning Point Associates Modern Red School House Institute New Tech Foundation Noble Network of Charter Schools Paideia Perspectives Charter Schools Project GRAD Talent Development High Schools

8 Great Challenges A majority of states and districts are unable to track individual students over time. Test participants, disaggregation and reporting requirements (and waivers), and accountability measurement and benchmarks have been contentious, decentralized, and difficult to interpret. “Reinventing” low performing schools has been, in practice, merely tinkering around the edges. Oprah hasn’t fully mobilize her Miracle Network for Education Coordination vs. Chaos

9 Key Foci Readiness: Intensive focus on transition into high school Rigor & Multiple Pathways: Standards & Coursetaking, data and monitoring system to diagnose and monitor, personalized learning environment Capacity: Build human capital and school capacity

10 State Policy: High School Readiness Course requirements Intensive focus on literacy and math skills –PD, incentives for certified math teachers Secondary defined as 6-12 –Individual Learning Plans –Postsecondary planning –Drop out rates

11 State Policy: Rigor Graduation Requirements –4 X 4 –Core Academic Curriculum Focus on CTE –Meet academic and career requirements Expand AP Access –Funding

12 State Policy: Postsecondary Pathways Bridging Programs –IL: 3 yr College and Career Readiness Program –OH: Graduation Coaches Dual Enrollment –Credit transferability/alignment –Funding (PPE, College Tuition and Fees) University/K-12 Partnerships –IN: Authorize contractual relationships btw districts and universities, Lab school, teacher training –Early College High Schools

13 State Policy: Building Capacity Teacher Quality provisions –NCLB Requirements –Recruitment and retention incentives –Targeted PD Principal Development –IL: year-long mentorship

14 Broad Strategies Support innovation: Incentivize and learn from “chaos” –Fund R&D, including significant and continued commitment to the technological requirements of usable data systems. Leverage existing funding streams to improve and align services/programs Commit to equalizing opportunity, or as the Forum for Education and Democracy calls it: Pay Off the Educational Debt that we owe our most underserved children.

15 Policy School Change? What does it mean to change? How do we know if it has happened? How do we know if it makes a difference for kids and teachers? –“Reinventing” low performing schools has been, in practice, merely tinkering around the edges.

16 High School Reform Implementation Toolkit Project Overview: –Urban Institute, Johns Hopkins, Academy for Educational Development (Nettie Legters, Becky Smerdon, Kristine Early) –Funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation –Launch October 2008 –Policy, practitioner, and research audiences –80+ reform elements

17 Example: Early Warning Signal Definition Research Best Practices Implementation Checklist

18 1825 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC Phone: (202) Fax: (202)


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