Case Study Sector
In large, depersonalized urban school districts across the nation, the need for high school reform is urgent and challenging: of the students who enter high school, only 68 percent earn a diploma. This rate drops as low as 50 percent in many districts, especially those in the largest cities. Only 75 percent of high school graduates go to college.
Jobs for the Future (JFF), a Boston-based, nonprofit organization founded in 1983, has recently released From Large to Small: Strategies for Personalizing the High School. In the report, JFF shares the latest information about successful new models of urban high school reform and describes some pitfalls of redesign.
From Large to Small was developed with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York for JFF's From the Margins to the Mainstream initiative, which focuses on identifying emerging models of high school education that not only meet academically rigorous standards but also help young people who are not well served by mainstream high schools to succeed. The report is a result of what was learned and offers concrete guideposts to leaders of comprehensive high schools who wish to implement a small-schools strategy, one promising model. It also, includes "snapshots" of small high schools that have dramatically improved the rates at which their students succeed. For example, 90 percent of students from Fenway High School in Boston, a small school that personalizes the student experience, now continue on to college. The Met, a high school in Providence, Rhode Island, that blends college preparation and vocational studies, sent 85 percent of students from the school's first graduating class to college. Two years later, 82 percent of these students are still in college.
- Northern America