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Rethinking High School: Five Profiles of Innovative Models for Student Success

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Only 68% of all students entering high school nationwide will earn their diploma. The news for students from historically underserved populations is even worse. These students have slightly more than a 50% chance of graduating from high school. To respond to this crisis, educators and policymakers are focused on developing small high schools which offer students a more personalized setting. But is the effort making a difference? In the absence of available long term data, WestEd examined five new, inner-city high schools across the country and discovered rigorous curricula, racially and socioeconomically diverse student bodies, academic access, engaged students, and supportive learning environments.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation asked WestEd to undertake this study of five small-scale high schools across the country. Each school’s case study — created from survey data, interviews, document reviews and Internet searches — includes a description of the school, general profile of the student body, student performance data and anecdotal testimony from school leaders. Schools profiled include: TechBoston Academy , Dayton (OH) Early College Academy, Northtown Academy(Chicago), Arrupe Jesuit High School (Denver), and High Tech High Charter School (San Diego)

Huebner, T.A., and Corbett, G.C. (2004). Rethinking High School: Five Profiles of Innovative Models for Student Success. A study by WestEd for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.