Monday, August 8, 2011

Cincinnati Closing Achievement Gap and Increasing Graduation Rates

For years, leaders in education have worked hard to close the achievement gap between white students and African American students. While many schools and districts are still pushing forward in this effort, Cincinnati, Ohio Public Schools (CPS) has managed to close the gap with their high school graduation rates.

For over a decade, CPS has involved coordinated, research-based strategies towards closing the gap, but without the creative and courageous work by those actually in the schools, such an ambitious goal could not have been realized. So how did they do it? Is there a way other districts can repeat such success?

Cincinnati, Ohio Public Schools used several strategies including:

• Focusing on just a few goals (increasing overall graduation rates and reducing the high school graduation gap).

• Taking educators, parents, community leaders and students to visit some of the nation’s most effective urban district and charter public schools.

• Focusing staff development on a few key areas: literacy, numeracy and learning to work more effectively with today’s urban youth.

• Increasing youth/community service so students learned they are capable of more than they thought.

• Positive ongoing leadership from the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers

• Holding principals accountable and replacing some in schools where there was not much progress.

To read the full article and see the full list of strategies, click here.

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