Jim Kemple -   HS Synthesis
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Jim Kemple -   HS Synthesis Jim Kemple - HS Synthesis Presentation Transcript

  • Meeting Six Critical Challenges of High School Reform James Kemple MDRC Presentation for National Academy Foundation Academy Leadership Summit November 2006 [email_address] http://www.mdrc.org/publications/428/full.pdf
  • Six Critical Challenges
    • Creating personalized learning environments.
    • Assisting students who enter high school with poor literacy and math skills.
    • Improving instructional content and pedagogy.
    • Preparing students for the world beyond high school.
    • Stimulating change and sustaining high performance.
    • Building knowledge about what works, what does not work and why.
  • High School Reform Models
    • Talent Development High Schools
      • SLCs
        • 9 th Grade Success Academy
        • Upper Grade Career Academies
      • Double dose of literacy and math classes
      • Instructional development and coaching
    • First Things First
      • Four-year theme-based SLCs
      • Family Advocate System
      • Instructional development and coaching
    • Career Academies
      • Three- or Four-year career theme SLCs
      • Academic and CTE curricula
      • Employer partnerships
    View slide
  • Shared Goals for Students
    • Shared goals for students:
      • Keep students in high school through graduation.
      • Provide credentials needed to enter post-secondary education and employment.
      • Build knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to succeed in higher and the labor market.
    • Major challenge for high schools: address all three goals for all students simultaneously.
    View slide
  • Evaluation Findings: Strengths
    • Talent Development
      • Especially strong impact on the 9th grade transition: improved attendance; increase in credits earned; higher rates of promotion to the 10th grade.
    • First Things First
      • Especially strong impacts on student achievement and graduation rates in FTF’s flagship district.
    • Career Academies
      • Especially strong impacts on post-secondary employment and earnings for young men without limiting access to post-secondary education.
  • Evaluation Findings: Limitations
    • Talent Development
      • While 9th grade impact persisted into the upper grades, the evaluation found only limited evidence that impacts were growing or getting stronger as students
    • First Things First
      • Results for scaling up districts did not reflect impacts from the flagship sites.
    • Career Academies
      • Programs did not have an impact, positive or negative, on academic performance or educational attainment.
  • Challenge 1: Creating a Personalized Learning Environment
    • Evidence:
      • SLCs promote personalized, supportive environment and positive relationships.
      • Faculty advisory systems link students to a teacher who is looking out for their well-being.
      • Not sufficient alone to raise achievement and prevent dropout.
    • Potential:
      • SLCs may provide necessary platform for reforms aimed at instructional improvement, supports for post-secondary transition, and accountability.
  • Challenge 2: Enhancing Basic Literacy and Math Skills
    • Evidence:
      • Sequential transitional courses focused on literacy and math are associated with substantial improvements in performance and promotion to 10 th grade.
      • Double dose, extended block periods provide key structural framework for transitional courses.
      • A double-blocked schedule can enable students to earn more credits per year than other arrangements.
    • Potential:
      • Supplementary literacy and math classes in 9 th grade may improve skills and overall performance throughout high school.
      • Literacy across the curriculum may improve overall performance in all subject areas.
  • Challenge 3: Improving Instructional Content and Pedagogy
    • Evidence:
      • Teachers benefit from well-designed curricula and lesson plans that have already been developed.
      • Teacher professional development and coaching appear to be necessary for building instructional capacity and responsive teaching.
      • Student achievement may be enhanced when teachers work together to make sure that curricula and lessons are engaging, aligned, and rigorous.
    • Potential:
      • Applied learning may improve academic achievement
      • Deploying high quality teachers to ninth grade, and to other high need students, can improve overall school performance
  • Challenge 4: Preparing Students for the World Beyond High School
    • Evidence:
      • Career awareness and development activities, in and outside of school, provide effective tools for transitions to employment without limiting access to college.
      • Incentives not sufficient to improve preparation for college entrance.
    • Potential:
      • Ongoing guidance, mentoring, and advocacy can improve preparation for transitions without limiting options for post-secondary education and employment.
  • Challenge 5: Stimulating Change and Sustaining High Performance
    • Evidence:
      • External expertise and intensive support appear to be critical to capacity building.
      • District support may not be a necessary condition for initiating reforms, but is required for long-term sustainability.
      • Strategic reform requires assessment of what is already in place and the capacity of local personnel.
    • Potential:
      • “ Train-the-trainer” and “distance” coaching and TA may promote high fidelity scaling up of effective reforms.
  • Challenge 6: Building Knowledge
    • Evidence:
      • Strongest evidence is on the nature of the problems.
      • Strong evidence on the difference between high performing and low performing high schools.
      • Much more limited evidence on effective strategies for transforming low-performing high schools into high-performing high schools.
      • A focus on outcomes and not impact has left a track record of getting the wrong answer to the right question.
    • Promise:
      • Need to address questions about what works as well as questions about why, how, and under what circumstances.
      • Knowledge building is the domain of researchers, policy makers and practitioners.
  • Career Academies: Impacts on On-Time Graduation Evaluation Sample National Averages for Similar Students in Similar Schools Note: National average estimates are adjusted to represent a sample with the same background characteristics as those in the Evaluation Sample. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Academy Career/Tech. Non-Academy General Academic Percent Graduating On-Time 80.4 63.3 48.6 72.9 72.2
  • Judging Program Impact High School Graduation Rates 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Program A Graduation Rates (% ) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Program C Graduation Rate (% ) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Program B Graduation Rates (% ) 85 84 71 53 72 85 Academy Group Control Group
  • Caveats and Cautions
    • Evidence base is limited, but improving
    • Problems are multidimensional, so must be the solutions: components are interdependent and interacting
    • Angels/devils are in the details of implementation
    • Important not to dismiss modest, but positive improvements
    • Give reform a chance: with promising interventions, staying the course can be as important as the course that is taken
  • Selected Resources for High School Reform Models
    • Talent Development High Schools
    • ( www.csos.jhu.edu/tdhs )
    • First Things First
    • ( www.irre.org )
    • National Academy Foundation
    • ( www.naf.org )
    • Career Academy Support Network
    • ( www.casn.berkeley.edu )
  • Selected Resources for Research on High School Reform
    • MDRC ( www.mdrc.org )
    • Consortium for Policy Research in Education ( www.cpre.org )
    • American Institutes for Research (AIR)
    • ( www.air.org )
    • SRI International
    • ( www.sri.com )
    • Research Triangle Institute ( www.rti.org )
    • Mathematica Policy Research Institute ( www.mathematica.org )
    • MPR Associates, Inc. ( www.mprinc.com )
    • National High School Center
    • ( www.betterhighschools.org )
    • National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform
    • ( www.goodschools.gwu.edu )
    • National Centers for Career Technical Education ( www.nccte.org )