New Report: Policies and Practices of Successful Delaware High Schools

Posted by on August 10, 2009

In Delaware, practices for boosting high school success

A recent study by the Delaware Education Research and Development Center suggests why some high schools in the state had higher graduation rates and did better on the Delaware Student Testing Program than others of similar socioeconomic status. The News Journal of Wilmington reports that researchers identified six best practices: transition programs to orient incoming ninth grade students, academies to organize ninth grade students into smaller groups, extra instructional time to support students not making satisfactory academic progress, after-school instructional help for all students needing extra help, mentoring, and twilight programs for students missing a small number of credits to graduate. “Having the one-on-one help really helped me understand things,” agreed sophomore Shelly Horshey. “I could keep asking questions and not hold everyone else back. And it brought my grade up a lot.” Though the report concedes that few conclusions about specific policies and practices can be drawn from a study of just three schools, the case studies “point to key considerations in deciding what interventions are appropriate in any school. These include student population, universal versus targeted services, resource availability, and size of school.”

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