High-poverty high schools in other cities show path to improvement

BALTIMORE, M.D.—MarylandCAN: The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now today released its second ‘Opportunity Schools’ report. It highlights best practices from 10 innovative non-traditional public high schools around the country that show strong achievement results for populations similar to those served in Baltimore.

In the follow up to last year’s Opportunity Schools Report which focused on lower and middle schools, MarylandCAN found troubling data surrounding non-entrance criteria high schools.

“Things are not as good as we thought,” said MarylandCAN Executive Director Jason Botel. “Unfortunately, our research showed that there isn’t a single non-entrance criteria high school in Baltimore that is providing students with a high-quality education.”

“But there is hope. Schools all around the country are serving kids just like ours, in communities just like ours with the same challenges we face. And they’re getting results. We see this report as a way to share best practices and ensure that the policies and strategies that are serving kids elsewhere can find a home in Baltimore, too.”

The four most widely cited practices from featured changing-the-odds high schools across the country include:

  1. High-levels of autonomous school-level decision-making authority;
  2. A culture of community;
  3. Relentlessly high expectations for students; and
  4. Individualized, tailored support to meet diverse student needs.

The report includes profiles from each high-performing school as well as policy recommendations to replicate these results locally.

Last year’s Opportunity Schools report.

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About MarylandCAN: Launched in January 2012, MarylandCAN: The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now, is a 501(c)3 non-profit education reform advocacy organization building a movement of Marylanders with the political will to enact smart public policies so that every Maryland child has access to a great public school.


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