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Present evaluations that are being carried out by third party evaluators as well as more recent findings.

1. There are two, third-party, evaluations of Accelerated Schools taking place. The Manpower Development Research Corporation has been studying the Accelerated Schools Project over the last three years and will report its evaluation results before the end of this year.

2. A major evaluation project funded by the U.S. Department of Education at the University of Michigan and headed by Professor David Cohen is evaluating four, major, national, comprehensive school reforms including a national sample of 25 Accelerated Schools.

3. Among the large number of Missouri's Accelerated Schools (about 200) in 1999, although the student populations in these schools were considerably more disadvantaged than for the State as a whole, all of the test results on the Missouri Assessment were near the state average. This meant that the achievement scores were considerably higher than predicted for Missouri schools with comparable enrollments.

4. In 1999 the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas carried out a national search for a small sample of high-performing, high-poverty urban elementary schools. Nine exemplary schools were found of which only two were from comprehensive reform models of which one was an Accelerated School. The study reports that in one of the most devastated urban communities in the Nation, East St. Louis, they found a school that was comprised almost entirely of minority students in poverty with test results higher than the state average on the Illinois Goal Assessment Program. They describe the school and the Accelerated Schools strategy that accounted for this result.
( Dana Center for Science and Technology, University of Texas, Hope for Urban Education: A Study of Nine High-Performing, High-Poverty, Urban Elementary Schools (Austin, TX, December 1999).

Success for All (and Roots and Wings) is the presumptive model in New Jersey that the State is asking all schools to adopt, so we have sought out direct comparisons between effectiveness of the two models. In doing this, we should note that we have enormous respect for SFA/RW even though it has very different philosophy, process, and goals than the ASP. Steve Ross of the Success for All Center in Memphis is the lead author of the two direct comparisons. ASP personnel were not contacted and were not involved in the evaluation in any capacity. The following are the results:

1. A comparison of first graders in 3 Accelerated Schools (AS) and 3 Success for All (SFA) schools was carried out in 1996-97 for schools in Tacoma, Washington completing their first year in the two programs. There were no statistically significant differences between the two models in: oral reading, word identification, or passage comprehension. SFA did better in word attack by an effect size of .28; AS was superior in writing with an effect size of .41. The AS model had costs per student that were only 15 percent of the SFA model (S. Ross, M. Albert, and M. McNelis, "Evaluation of Elementary School School-Wide Programs: Clover Park School District (Memphis: University of Memphis Center for Research in Educational Policy, September 1997).

2. The New American Schools project sponsored whole school reforms in Memphis. The first 25 Memphis elementary schools that adopted the reform models were compared with a matched group of non-reform schools. After three years it was found that the comprehensive reform schools outperformed the non-reform schools in achievement.

Accelerated Schools had the largest effect size for reading, almost double that of Roots and Wings, a gain equivalent to going from the 30th to the 70th percentile among a largely minority and poverty student population [S. Ross, S. W. Wang, W. Sanders, S. P. Wright, and S. Stringfield, "Two- and Three-Year Achievement Results on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System for Restructuring Schools in Memphis," (Memphis: University of Memphis, Center for Research in Educational Policy, June 1999)]. Across five subject tests, Roots and Wings showed an average effect size of 1.10 and Accelerated Schools showed an average effect size of .77. But the RW model in Memphis was at least six times as costly as the ASP cost, so that the ASP schools produced about 5 times more achievement than RW per dollar of investment.

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