New Brief: School Improvement and School Turnaround

Posted by on February 2, 2009

New Forum Brief:  School Improvement and School Turnaround: Local Accomplishments Of MetLife Foundation/NASSP Breakthrough Schools

You can now also watch and listen to this presentation – click here!

Driven by the No Child Left Behind Act, the need to improve high school graduation rates, and to lower the number of students dropping out, school improvement and turnaround initiatives continue to dominate efforts at education reform, in an effort to improve academic outcomes for students.  The recent series of AYPF forums have examined some of these efforts at the local, district and state levels. The first forum of the series focused on a project by the MetLife Foundation and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.  This project identifies, showcases, and recognizes middle level and high schools that are high achieving or are dramatically improving student achievement and serve large numbers of students living in poverty. Selection criteria are based on a school’s documented success in implementing strategies aligned with the three core areas of Breaking Ranks II for middle level and high schools that have led to improved student achievement: Collaborative leadership; Personalization; and Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. These strategies were outlined in two publications: In 2004, NASSP’s commitment to supporting principals in their school wide reform efforts resulted in the publication of Breaking Ranks II: Strategies for Leading High School Reform.  This was followed by the 2006 release of Breaking Ranks in the Middle: Strategies for Leading Middle Level Reform. This forum showcased three schools that utilized these school improvement strategies, and that were grant award winners in 2008: Forest Grove High School in Oregon; Cashman Middle School in Nevada; and Wheaton High School in Maryland.  Mel Riddile of the National Association for High School Leadership (VA)  led the presentation.  Speakers were:  Kevin E. Lowndes, Principal, Wheaton High School (MD); John O’Neill, Principal Forest Grove High School (OR); and Misti Taton, Principal, Cashman Middle School (NV).

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