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School organization: Web resources

Here are some resources on school organization you may find helpful.

The early college high school initiative web site
Through the Early College High School Initiative, thirteen partner organizations are creating or redesigning more than 250 small schools that blend high school and college. These schools encourage underrepresented students (e.g., low income, minority) to attend college. Jobs for the Future coordinates and supports the partners and the effort as a whole. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and other local foundations, fund the Initiative. The web site presents research related to the Initiative’s schools, descriptions of the schools and partner organizations, and an overview of the philosophy and structure that guide the schools’ development.

National Center for Restructuring Education
A project of Teachers College at Columbia University, the Center is involved in the Early College High School and other school restructuring initiatives. The Current Projects section of the site offers descriptions of the work and reports on program implementation.

The Education Trust
The EducationTrust is an advocacy, analysis, and research organization that works for high academic achievement of all students. To learn how some high schools are improving engagement and achievement for under-performing students, see Gaining Traction, Gaining Ground. This 2005 report offers straightforward suggestions about policies and practices schools can put in place. From the home page, go to “Reports and Publications” and then select “High School.”

Final report on the implementation study of smaller learning communities
This May 2008 report presents information on the first group of grantees funded (in 2000) under the U.S. Department of Education’s Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) program for high schools. The program was designed to respond to concerns about students being lost and alienated in large, impersonal high schools, and it allows local education agencies to choose from a variety of structures and complementary strategies to meet school needs. Researchers addressed three areas of interest: (1) principal strategies for implementing SLCs, (2) factors that facilitate and inhibit implementation of SLCs, and (3) outcomes (as measured by student achievement and school behavior) and how they change over time. Information about grants is available at www.ed.gov/programs/slcp/index.html; information about the legislation is at www.ed.gov/programs/slcp/legislation.html.

Center for Social Organization of Schools
This Johns Hopkins University center created the Talent Development High Schools and Talent Development Middle Grades programs. It also works with the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk (CRESPAR). Together, the centers conduct research, development, and evaluation activities, and the web sites offer an array of reports and information.

Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology
A project of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Center offers a variety of resources related to technology, including distance education. Select “reading list” and search for “distance learning” to get links to research and policy information. The “questions and answers” page has a section of resources on online teaching and learning.

Rural School and Community Trust
While the focus of this group is rural education, its web site offers good information on small schools, distance learning, and other topics. Here you will find also a cost analysis of small schools; Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools is a respected resource for those considering renovations or new building projects.

North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL)
This nonprofit membership organization offers resources, research information, and professional development events for educators who are interested in online teaching and learning. Many resources are free online, and fees for membership and professional development are reasonably priced.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
This foundation invests in organizations across the United States that are working to increase high school graduation and college-readiness rates for all children. In many cases, the work includes new approaches to school organization. This Web site provides reports on many of the current programs, as well as lessons learned and next steps.

These Web resources were prepared by Edvantia, an education research and development not-for-profit corporation founded in 1966.

Posted: September 4, 2008

©Center for Public Education

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