The experience of Cincinnati Public Schools proves that major district-wide gains in high school graduation rates for all students are possible. Education leaders in Cincinnati committed to progress and implemented a range of important strategies that produced a 30 percentage-point increase in graduation rates from 2000 to 2009 – strategies that included teaching teams in the schools, student-based budgeting, more autonomy at the school level, and closer working relationships between students and teachers. These improvements showed especially strong results for low-income students and students of color. Cincinnati’s African American students now graduate at about the same increased rate as white students, a notable accomplishment for an urban school district. The positive impacts of these reforms do not stop when students leave high school with their diplomas. College attendance by Cincinnati’s public-school graduates has also increased, along with college readiness and retention. Read More
Success in the suburban school district of Maryland’s Montgomery County demonstrates how a sustained and multi-faceted effort to both raise the academic bar and close gaps in learning can significantly boost academic performance by students of color and increase it for white students as well. The school district identified a “red zone” where academic achievement lagged and where both students of color and low-income students are concentrated. District leaders built broad support for action to concentrate more resources on red zone students and schools. Tapping into talent at all levels, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has
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