On July 23, 2015, the Alliance held a webinar featuring a School Improvement Grant (SIG)–approved evidence-based whole-school reform model developed by the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA), which gave school districts (both SIG-receiving and non–SIG-receiving) an overview of ISA’s effective high school reform model that could turn around their persistently low-performing high schools.
High School Reform
On March 11, 2015 the Alliance and MDRC held a webinar to discuss recent innovations in high school reform and facilitate a conversation among education leaders about the design of high-impact strategies to keep all students on the path to high school graduation and college and career readiness.
This event cohosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) examined the role of leadership in creating dynamic personalized learning environments that have produced continuous growth in student proficiency over the past three years. The panel discussion highlighted three schools—Marshall Fundamental Secondary School (CA), Sleepy Hollow High School (NY), and Maplewood Richmond Heights High School (MO)—that have been recognized by the Breakthrough Schools project in 2014 for exemplifying the core areas of personalization, collaborative leadership, and access to a rigorous and differentiated curriculum for all students.
Youth CareerConnect Program: An Opportunity to Redefine the High School Experience and Increase College and Career Readiness Webinar/EventDecember 09, 2013
On November 19, DOL, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, announced the start of the $100 million Youth CareerConnect grant competition designed to provide high school students with education and training that combines rigorous academic and technical curricula focused on in-demand occupations and industries, specifically STEM (science, technology, math, engineering, and math) industries. The goals for the Youth CareerConnect program are to ensure that high school students gain both academic and occupational skills; transition into aligned postsecondary opportunities, postsecondary education, long-term occupational skills training, or registered apprenticeships; obtain an industry-recognized credential and a high school diploma; and earn postsecondary credit. This webinar will provide guidance regarding a variety of ways to approach effective secondary school reform within the context of the Youth CareerConnect grant program.
Creating a Positive School Climate: Implementing Equitable and Effective School Discipline Practices Webinar/EventNovember 15, 2013
Closing achievement and graduation rate gaps requires comprehensive school reform that includes a focus on a positive school climate that meets and develops the academic, social, and emotional needs of every student. Doing this means addressing the multiple factors that can negatively affect school climate. For example, student discipline policies often keep too many students out of school and away from the classroom, causing them to lose critical learning time. Research repeatedly shows that harsh disciplinary policies disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities. Not only are these discipline practices disproportionately applied, and for less serious behavior, they are also an ineffective response to the behavior. There are other practices and policies that have proven to be effective in creating a safe and positive school climate for all students and staff. This webinar will provide data on these disparities and the equitable and effective alternatives of punitive school discipline.
Achievement Gap, College & Career Readiness, Discipline, Disconnected Youth, Dropout Factories, Elementary & Secondary Education Act, Equity, High School Dropout Rates, High School Graduation Rates, High School Reform, School Climate, Secondary School Improvement, Students of Color, Teachers & Leaders
New Findings on the Effectiveness and Operation of Small Public High Schools of Choice in New York City Webinar/EventNovember 13, 2013
Cohosted by the Alliance and MDRC, this webinar focused on findings from an MDRC report on “small high schools of choice” and involved a conversation among education leaders about the design and implementation of an effective, large-scale high school reform.
This webinar is on the second round of the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top–District (RTT-D) competition. This competitive grant program asks applicants to provide a model for reform focused on personalization and creation of a student-centered learning environment that strengthens deeper learning competencies—mastering core academic content, thinking critically, solving complex problems, and communicating effectively. During the webinar, three representatives from school districts that received RTT-D grants discussed how they are using RTT-D funding to advance their reform agenda and personalize learning for their students, particularly for high schools. Panelists discussed their vision for reform, how they were able to capture it within their application, and how they created a plan for implementation.
On November 29 the Alliance for Excellent Education held a webinar featuring two educational leaders—Yvette Jackson of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education and author of The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools; and Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow—who described how to change the essential learning conditions within high schools and provided the pedagogical and technological tools to enable and empower students to achieve high intellectual performance. Alliance Senior Fellow Mariana Haynes moderated the discussion and fielded questions from webinar viewers across the country.