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Gaining Traction, Gaining Ground

The nonprofit group Education Trust released an in-depth study last week titled "Gaining Traction, Gaining Ground" (see www.edtrust.org). It's the latest contribution to a growing national dialogue about high school reform.

The study identified four "high impact" schools that serve a significant portion of low-income and minority students but do better than their counterparts in helping students catch up. It drew on surveys and focus groups with teachers and students, as well as direct observation of classrooms and school culture, interviews with administrators, and analyses of everything from class sizes to student transcripts.

Efforts to highlight good practices are always useful, but to implement them on a larger scale requires an influx of resources, says Michael Rebell, executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. "If we're going to be systemic about really closing this achievement gap on a broad basis, it's obviously going to call for more public funding."

This article, written by Stacey A. Teicher, appeared in the December 7th, 2005 publication of The Christian Science Monitor.

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