March 3, 2008

Going for the Gold: The Secret of Successful Schools

US public school leaders increasingly agree about the elements that drive student results, such as a college preparatory curriculum and instructional coaching. Yet results on the ground vary dramatically and remain, in large part, disappointing. How can some schools sustain high graduation and college acceptance rates while others struggle with 50 percent drop-out rates?

By: Amy Saxton , Susan J. Colby , Barry Newstead
US public school leaders increasingly agree about the elements that drive student results, such as a college preparatory curriculum and instructional coaching. Yet results on the ground vary dramatically and remain, in large part, disappointing. How can some schools sustain high graduation and college acceptance rates while others—with similar school designs, student demographics, and budget constraints—struggle with 50 percent drop-out rates?

The difference can be traced to school leaders' ability to focus their teams on the most important aspects of their school design and to “sweat the details” of execution. Using examples from YES Prep Public Schools, the Knowledge is Power Program, and Envision Schools, this Education Next article explores what’s needed to make a strong school design work in practice, including consistent resource allocation, processes that support the design’s intent, and leaders who don’t let immediate pressures—including administrative and operational issues—trump student learning.

To read the full article, please go to the Education Next website.

Creative Commons License logo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available in our Terms and Conditions.