The more we spread the word the
closer we come to realizing success.
boilerplate image

STUDENT-CENTERED SCHOOLS: New SCOPE Report Examines How Four Urban High Schools Are Closing the Opportunity Gap

Rating
“Students in the study schools exhibited greater gains in achievement than their peers, had higher graduation rates, were better prepared for college, and showed greater persistence in college. Student-centered learning proves to be especially beneficial to economically disadvantaged students and students whose parents have not attended college," said Stanford University Professor and SCOPE Faculty Director Linda Darling-Hammond.

Student-Centered Schools: Closing the Opportunity Gap, a new report from the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) examines how four urban high schools serving predominately low-income students of color have used student-centered approaches to outperform most schools in their respective communities serving similar student populations.

“The numbers are compelling,” said Stanford University Professor and SCOPE Faculty Director Linda Darling-Hammond. “Students in the study schools exhibited greater gains in achievement than their peers, had higher graduation rates, were better prepared for college, and showed greater persistence in college. Student-centered learning proves to be especially beneficial to economically disadvantaged students and students whose parents have not attended college.”

The report focuses on four California schools—City Arts and Technology High School (San Francisco); Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (Antioch); Life Academy of Health and Bioscience (Oakland); and Impact Academy of Arts and Technology (Hayward). The schools are non-selective in their admissions and use either a “Linked Learning” initiative or “Envision Education” model. Linked Learning is a statewide initiative in California pairing rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Envision Education is a small charter network that creates personalized learning environments for students to develop twenty-first century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.

At Dozier-Libbey and Impact Academy, 90–95 percent of African American students graduate from high school, compared to district and state averages of about 66 percent. At City Arts and Tech, 99 percent of students complete all courses required for admission in California colleges. Additionally, 97 percent of City Arts and Tech graduates were still enrolled in four-year colleges in their fourth year of college, far exceeding national averages, particularly for students who are the first in their family to attend college.

“Survey data of graduates suggest that particular high school practices of relationship-building, high standards, deep learning, and instructional relevance contribute to students’ success in college,” the report notes. (To watch City Arts and Tech students in action, click on the video below.)

The report identifies four practices that promote student success: (1) building relationships with students through advisory programs, a culture of celebration, student voice and leadership opportunities, and connections to parents and community; (2) providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging instruction and assessments; (3) offering academic supports for student success both in and out of class; and (4) facilitating shared leadership and professional development, including creating a shared schoolwide vision, supporting grade-level teacher collaboration, and distributing leadership to include teachers, among other elements.

The report also highlights areas of support that enable student-centered schools, including funding policies that shape what resources are available and how they are used; human capital policies that influence teachers’ and school leaders’ capacity to enact student-centered practices; and instruction and assessment policies, including project-based instruction and performance-based assessments, that impact what is taught and how student learning is measured.

Additional information on SCOPE’s research on the four high schools, which includes a research brief, cross-case analysis, technical report, policy brief, educators’ tool, and case studies, is available at https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/news/articles/1217.

Join the Conversation

Your email is never published nor shared.

What is this?
Add 11 to 6 =
The simple math problem you are being asked to solve is necessary to help block spam submissions.

Close

 

Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.