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TIME FOR SOME ACTION: What Policymakers Are Saying About the American High School

"Although the goal of reinventing the high school is held in common, the rationale for proceeding is not," the report reads.

In an effort to capture the messages of five national conferences held last fall on the issue of high schools and high school-age youth, and the discussions that took place among the policymakers, administrators, and other leaders in education who attended them, the National High School Alliance commissioned and published Crisis or Possibility: Conversations About the American High School. The report hopes to “help leaders maintain the momentum needed to continue these important conversations, and to commit to building the strong and supportive schools, systems, and communities the nation’s youth need and deserve.”

“Although the goal of reinventing the high school is held in common, the rationale for proceeding is not,” the report reads. “Supporting that broad consensus, expert agreement emerged around several key variables related to effecting institutional change. While this agreement may be used to support a vision for a new type of high school, details for implementation remain to be worked out.”

The report covers conferences held by the National Governors’ Association and the National Center on Education and Economy, the U.S. Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, Jobs for the Future, and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The complete report is available at

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