Promising Practice – High School Improvement

Publication March 2011

High schools are seeking to build systems that ensure success for every student; this is being further emphasized by the Obama administration, which has identified the following four Race to the Top priority areas in the Race to the Top Executive Summary (2009): “adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy; building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction; cultivating effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and turning around struggling schools” (p.1).

In May 2010, the NRCCTE’s partner, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), identified three schools (urban, suburban and rural) that appear to be meeting at least one of the Race to the Top priorities. NASDCTEc described the efforts of each school in its three-part report, Already at the Top. Each of the three schools made systemic changes and gathered data utilizing a variety of measures. Our Promising Practice Overview summarizes the school settings, the systemic changes made, the dates implemented, the data-gathering methodology used, and the outcomes from each school. Individual reports on each school are also available.

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Urban School: Newark Tech High School, Essex County Vocational Technical Schools, New Jersey

Suburban School: Livonia Career Technical Center, Michigan

Rural School: Loving High School, New Mexico