The first half of this chapter briefly summarizes the lessons learned to date regarding components that are absolutely essential for transforming high poverty middle schools. As developers of the Talent Development Middle School (TDMS) model,2 we draw upon our own experiences from the past 6 years working with high poverty middle schools in Philadelphia, Memphis, New Jersey, and Michigan. We argue that by focusing on the infrastructure of teaching and learning and by creating a communal organization of schooling, it is possible to make significant achievement and motivational gains in high poverty middle schools. In the second half of this chapter, we discuss several remaining instructional, school culture, and policy obstacles that must be overcome, and we consider the additional components that are still needed to reliably transform the most troubled high poverty middle schools into strong learning institutions.
The extent and location of weak learning environments and poor student outcomes in American high schools need to be better understood if we are to focus attention and resources where reforms are most needed. We begin this chapter by providing various indicators of the serious problems affecting high schools and then describe how the indicators are concentrated in large high schools in high-poverty areas. There is an emerging consensus that comprehensive reform approaches that address high school organization and operations offer promising solutions to these problems. Therefore, we also provide a brief history of earlier reform recommendations that have evolved into the comprehensive change models now available. We conclude with a description of four common components of comprehensive reform models for high schools, with examples and recent evaluation evidence from one selected model that offers specific materials and support systems.
This chapter discusses the current state of family and community involvement in the schooling of students placed at risk. It describes developments in research and policy in family and community involvement during the past decade. It also reports continued barriers to family and community involvement, especially in low-resource, high-risk schools and communities. The chapter concludes with suggestions for maximizing schools’ capacity to involve families and communities in the education of children and youth placed at risk. It emphasizes the importance of teacher preparation and professional development, a team approach to partnership program design and implementation, and district-level support and facilitation.
Schools can and should provide access to purposeful,
transformative, empowering experiences that move students from the ability to read to full literacy.
This chapter explores the issues underlying technology in the education of at-risk students. First it examines facts that have emerged from large scale surveys of students’ access to computers in home and school settings as related to low income status and ethnic/racial background. Then it examines some of the survey data on schools’ use of computers and research on achievement related to technology. The next section of the chapter discusses directions for research that might help illuminate the role of technology in the learning of at-risk youth, focusing on “situated case studies” of authentic instructional practices that carefully examine how technology is related to the unique cultural and social circumstances of learning settings. Particular attention is devoted to those instructional practices that build on students’ background knowledge and motivation to communicate and learn in after-school as well as classroom settings.
In this chapter, I discuss the evolution and effectiveness of Title I, the largest federal investment in the nation’s public schools. Specifically, I summarize how the program has evolved from one that is ineffectual and poorly implemented to one that is relatively well implemented and somewhat effective, but clearly in need of further improvement. I conclude the chapter by discussing how the Title I research base may inform current and future efforts to research and evaluate the program.
In this chapter, we examine how CTE can improve education for students placed at risk of failure and dropping out, and we present what empirical evidence exists of the success that CTE-related reforms have had. We examine CTE reforms that have been driven by legislation, those that have not, and other reform efforts that are conducive to including CTE elements. In addition, we discuss how CTE reforms should be structured in order to maximize their effectiveness.
In this final chapter we address three interrelated areas. First, we review some of the major points of previous chapters, concluding that they indicate a need for coherent, systemic supports for effective student-, teacher-, or school-level reforms. Second, we argue that the type of systemic support most likely to be effective would be a “metareform,” or overarching logic of reform guiding any specific school or classroom-level reform. This “meta-reform” must focus on heightening the reliability of any school-based reform. Third, we discuss the complexities of school reform, and review studies indicating that these multilevel challenges drive would-be reformers to a “co-construction” orientation, in which participants at various levels all have meaningful input into processes, agreed-upon structures, and outcomes.
This essay asks how Head Start has survived and even thrived over 35 years when other Great Society programs have died. To answer this question, it explores the connection between civil rights activists, intellectuals studying child development and social programs for children, and community action embodied in Great Society legislation, and how parents experienced Head Start in ways not predicted by policy makers and advocates.
This article examines the historical development of after-school programs serving low-income children including objectives and practices in each era, formative influences, implementation challenges, and role in children’s lives.
From a life course perspective, high school dropout culminates a long-term process of disengagement from school. The present paper uses data from a representative panel of Baltimore school children to describe this unfolding process.
The authors examine the career and college advice that high school counselors and vocational teachers give to the forgotten half and make suggestions about how schools can better assist in postsecondary planning for workbound students.
In the context of the current standards-based reform movement, the authors explore the “mismatch” between the structure of schools and the social, cultural, or economic backgrounds of students identified as problems over the past century and a half.
This article contrasts the discourses of teen pregnancy articulated by low-income women in an urban high school with those of the media to suggest that educators and policy-makers rethink the “problem” of teen pregnancy.
Using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS:88), the authors investigate how access to teacher-based forms of social capital affects the probability of dropping out for students who enter high school with different types and levels of risk.
Using data from the Tennessee Project STAR, the authors examine the impact of the duration of participation in small classes in grades K-3 on student performance in
Drawing on four case studies, the author considers the activities of mentors that help the students they guide become more prepared for schooling and careers.
The study examines the relationship of teacher learning, teaching practice, school restructuring, and student outcomes in three high performing high schools for students at-risk.
An examination of the informal curriculum of an after-school program for students at-risk of dropping out of school.
In this chapter I review key studies of second-chance education,
training, and employment programs for economically disadvantaged
youth who lack a high school diploma or a general equivalency
diploma (GED). The central question in most of this research is
whether these programs improve the later employment prospects of
the young people they serve, though attention is also given to whether
the programs achieve intermediate outcomes such as attainment of a
GED or high school diploma. Following a review of the research
record, several policy implications of these findings are discussed.
The purpose of this chapter is to review what has been learned about
the various approaches to educating the "forgotten" learner and to
recommend implementation strategies for building a strong school-to-work
program that will open opportunities for these students.
AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The
word comes from the Latin avidus, "eager for knowledge." AVID's
purpose is (1) to increase college attendance among African-American,
Alaskan/Native American, Latino, and low-income students who are
most underrepresented in postsecondary education, and (2) to restructure
secondary school teaching methodologies to allow college
preparatory curricula to be accessible to all students.
An examination of the complex array of factors that put young children at risk and the numerous successful programs that have already demonstrated their potency.
In this chapter we present a broad overview of the problem in terms of historical perspective, the current state of the system,
and the role of the school in promoting or preventing delinquent
Let me not repeat the words of those who have described the
conditions of the poor schools in this very substantial country. Let
me say only that the conditions of hundreds of thousands of children
going to school now, less than thirty years before the year
2000, are so wretched, so inhuman, so unbelievably wrong, that it
is only natural that those of us living in better circumstances
would do everything we can to forget these others.
This chapter is concerned with the options available to a democratic society in maintaining law and order and especially in dealing
with disruptive and delinquent youth. It attempts to define prevalent
concepts of "normalcy" and "deviancy" and to account for
the national youth dilemma that has given rise to our present, acute
delinquency problems. It discusses the social institutions and conditions
responsible for shaping behavior and explains why punitive
measures have been ineffective as rehabilitation directives. It submits
the proposition that options are prime requisites for a democratic
way of life and offers examples of a remedial program conducted
in a correctional institution and a delinquency prevention
program presently operating in a public school.
This article discusses the importance of teacher attitudes and cultural orientation in successfully teaching in an inner city community.
However else they may be shorted, our "disadvantaged" children don't lack for attention. From the local public school to the carpeted offices of government, this group evokes multiple expressions of deep concern and promises of vigorous effort—an interest all the more impressive because most of it seems obviously genuine. Unfortunately, almost all the remedial action thus far appears to rest on assumptions that plague our schools and hinder their progress.