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Alliance for Excellent Education Commends NASSP Report, Breaking Ranks II, for its Hands-On Approach

Press Release:

Alliance for Excellent Education Commends NASSP Report, Breaking Ranks II, for its Hands-On Approach

With the release today of Breaking Ranks II: Strategies for Leading High School Reform, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has produced an important weapon for use in the fight for an excellent education for all of America’s secondary school students. Along with its companion report, Supporting Principals Who Break Ranks, Breaking Ranks II offers principals, other school leaders, and policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels a thoughtful and realistic guide for the systematic improvement of high schools and student performance.

The Alliance for Excellent Education applauds NASSP and the Education Alliance at Brown University, which worked with NASSP to develop Breaking Ranks II, for developing a tool which simultaneously challenges principals to take responsibility for school and student improvement and provides specific recommendations that will help them succeed in that objective.

Breaking Ranks II poses excellent questions to school leaders about their schools. The Alliance’s vice president for public policy, Sue Lusi, noted that “if all school leaders publicly asked and sought to address these questions, the education provided to our high school students would dramatically improve.” The report also recommends a series of actions which are crucial to providing the kind of personalized and rigorous high school education that the Alliance for Excellent Education supports, including developing a Personal Plan for Progress for each student and providing each with a Personal Adult Advocate; creating small learning communities and reducing the total numbers of students taught by each full-time teacher; and understanding that the learning process is a continuum from pre-school through higher education.

“When it comes to accepting leadership responsibility for improving our nation’s high schools, a lot of critical players are stepping up to the plate,” said Alliance President, Susan Frost. “President Bush has made recommendations in his FY 2005 budget request to Congress to provide help to secondary schools and their students. Two bills introduced in Congress last year also concentrate on improving the educational outcomes of high school students, the Pathways for All Students to Succeed Act (S. 1554) and the Graduation for All Act (HR 3085). Many of the programs that would result from the implementation of these federal programs would directly support some of the key recommendations of Breaking Ranks II.”

Based in Washington, DC, the Alliance for Excellent Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping America’s six million at-risk middle and high school students achieve high standards and graduate prepared for college and success in life. The Alliance will host its second Annual Conference on American High School Policy, which will this year focus on Teacher and Principal High School Leadership, on October 3-5, 2004 in Washington, D.C.

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. It is funded by the Leeds Family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Daniels Fund, and the New York Community Trust, as well as by concerned individuals.

For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.com.

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