Jan 26, 2010
As the nation has embraced the need to graduate every student ready for college and careers, high school reform has emerged at the top of the education agenda. Many local and state leaders are implementing strategies to address low performance and close achievement gaps. As federal policymakers look ahead to opportunities to support this work—including through the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—they are eagerly looking to districts that have been engaged in major reform to understand the implications for supporting and encouraging these reforms at scale. One extremely relevant case study is New York City—the nation’s largest and most diverse school district—where Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein have prioritized redesigning high schools and improving outcomes as part of a districtwide reform effort. This brief, the first in a series, will set the stage, describing the theory of action underlying the efforts of the New York City Department of Education and some of the specific strategies it has employed to improve high schools.