U.S. Department of Education
No Child Left Behind Act Outlines the Purpose of Smaller Learning Communities
On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which outlined the important purpose of Smaller Learning Communities. The new law gives defined structure to the discretionary grant status of the Smaller Learning Communities grant competition and ensures that Smaller Learning Communities will continue to assist large public high schools, which are defined as schools that include grades 11 and 12 and enroll at least 1,000 students in grades 9 and above.
Grantees are authorized to use their funds to, among other things: (1) study the feasibility of creating smaller learning communities; (2) research, develop, and implement strategies for creating smaller learning communities; (3) provide professional development for school staff in the teaching methods that would be used in the smaller learning community; and (4) develop and implement strategies to include parents, business representatives, community-based organizations, and other community members in the activities of the smaller learning communities.
The Smaller Learning Communities Program is a $125 million competitive federal grant program to plan, implement or expand smaller learning communities in large high schools. Approximately $96 million will be available for new grants. Local educational agencies (LEAs) are eligible to apply on behalf of a large high school or a group of large high schools. In FY 2000, the Department awarded $42.3 million of the $45 million appropriation in the form of 149 grants to LEAs (84 one-year planning grants and 65 three-year implementation grants). A total of 349 schools, serving more than 450,000 students benefited from last year's competition.
The Aspen Institute and Jobs for the Future
ASPEN PROGRAM ON EDUCATION IN A CHANGING SOCIETY
At a time when high schools must be pathways to college for all students, they are pathways to nowhere for many. (read the complete paper; requires Adobe Acrobat reader version 4 to open; 367 K) http://aspeninstitute.org/ecs/
All Over the Map: State Policies to Improve the High School (2002)
To download All Over the Map, go to http://www.hsalliance.org.
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Commission Final Report
Key recommendations are presented as part of the Commission's "Triple A Plan," which calls for increased alignment between all levels of education, higher achievement through college-preparatory study, and expanded and more rigorous alternatives to the traditional senior year, so students can explore options and prove their knowledge and skills through a capstone project, internship or other means.
Re-Conceptualizing Connecticut's High Schools: A Blueprint for Continuous Change -- Draft February 28, 2002 and available for comment.
The time has come for dramatic change in our high schools that ensures a more challenging, engaging and supportive experience for each high school youngster in Connecticut.
Statement of Purpose
The report invites readers, first, to think about six Core Principles that, in the Commission's judgment, lie at the heart of all secondary educational planning and practice. Second, it recommends two sets of Core Practices, one addressing learning and teaching activities and one addressing how the school functions to support these learning and teaching practices. Finally, Promising Futures recommends steps that policy-makers and leaders beyond the school -- school committees, community leaders, state law makers, and professional associations -- can take to encourage and support secondary school improvement. Appendices include suggestions to foster discussion and planning, a summary of findings about the "current realities", and a bibliography of references and helpful resources. (See Table of Contents)
High Schools That Work Statewide Pilot Testing Following a comprehensive review of applications received from agencies across the State, eight have been selected to officially pilot the High Schools
The High School Innovation program works to assist secondary schools in implementing innovative approaches to high school renewal.
The program has worked closely with the Vermont High School Task Force, which was created in 1999 by the State Board of Education to examine the status of the state?s secondary education system; the group completed its initial mission in 2002. The Task Force developed a set of recommendations and tools to help guide the high school renewal process; the High School Innovation program focuses on helping the education community implement those strategies. Among the recommendations is the creation of a Center for High School Renewal, which would provide resources and technical assistance to secondary schools and vocation-technical education centers working to integrate innovative practices.