Sunday, May 15, 2011

5 Steps To Fixing A "Broken" High School:

Here's an article Russo wrote on 5 Steps To Fixing A "Broken" High School:


Fixing a neighborhood high school with a quarter of its kids not showing up every day, single-digit test scores, 40 percent graduation rates, and extremely low morale is one of the hardest, least desirable jobs in education. The chances for glory are few and far between, and miracles are rare. And yet, there's really no choice.  Leaving things the way they are at deeply dysfunctional schools isn't right, pulls down neighborhoods, and can affect an entire school system.  

And yet, turnarounds can be done. Disorderly, dreary buildings can become safe, warm, and engaging places for kids to learn. Teachers frustrated and disillusioned with far-off administrators and over-stressed building leaders can become re-energized, hopeful guides and mentors.  I know this because I've studied the research on school turnarounds and spent three years reporting on the effort at Locke High School.  Located in a rough area of South Central Los Angeles, Locke was rescued by a dedicated group of teachers, an outside organization that took on the massive responsibility of running the school, and a lot of very, very hard work.  There were mistakes and setbacks along the way, and the effort appeared to be on the rocks several times, but three years later the school is, well, a school again.  The students who go there have a legitimate chance to get an education and go on to college.

So how do you start on the path to fixing a broken high school?  Here are five not really very easy steps you should take:

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