May 04, 2009
In an age where a postsecondary education, let alone a high school diploma, is increasingly necessary to succeed in the global economy, the growing recognition of a graduation crisis that disproportionately affects poor and minority students has helped galvanize the demand to improve the lowest-performing high schools. Education leaders have a responsibility to provide better options to the students served by such high schools. Addressing the nation’s lowest-performing high schools with effective options for all students—either by transforming them, closing them, or replacing them with multiple other schools—will require a systemic strategy that involves stakeholders and policymakers at all levels, establishes the necessary conditions for success, and promotes organizational practices and instructional strategies within a school that lead to improved teaching, learning, and outcomes. This brief examines the current federal approach to addressing the lowest-performing high schools; explores lessons learned from emerging strategies at the state and local level; and provides related recommendations for federal policy.
Categories:Teachers and School Leaders