HSTW Publications

  • Informational Brochures
  • Best Practices Newsletters
  • Case Studies
  • Getting Students Ready: High School, College, Careers
  • Instructional and Site Development Guides
  • Research Reports
Publication January 2017 | 2 pages

Senior-Year Redesign
HSTW Senior-Year Redesign: Launching pad to advanced credentials and degrees

This is an overview of the HSTW redesigned senior-year, which allows eligible students to complete graduation requirements while taking college-level courses at the high school or on a college campus. Students may graduate with up to two semesters of credit (or 30 hours) toward an associate or bachelor’s degree or an advanced industry credential.

Publication July 9, 2016 | 7 pages | (16V18)Gene Bottoms and Kirsten Sundell

Career Pathways
Accelerating Access to the Middle Class

More and more jobs require some education past high school, yet we are not preparing enough students for college, careers or both. Career pathways from middle and high school through college and into the workplace can accelerate access to the middle class.

Publication May 2016 | 12 pages | (16V12)

Case Study: Piedmont High School
Raising Rigor and Expectations

Piedmont High School is a high-achieving school with a 2015 graduation rate of 99 percent. This case study details how the school used the High Schools That Work design to put in place the building blocks to foster a culture of continuous improvement to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed.


Publication Gene BottomsDecember 201554 pages(14V10-R15)

Students Step Up When Teachers and Leaders Transform Classrooms
Literacy Design Collaborative and Mathematics Design Collaborative

This publication describes how schools and teachers are using literacy and math strategies to engage students and prepare them for college and careers. Teachers and school leaders give first-hand accounts of their classroom experiences and share data on student achievement.



Case Study – Fort Mill High School: A Culture of Continuous Improvement

This case study details Fort Mill High School’s dedication to a culture of continuous improvement. The school has established “The Power of I” redo/reteach and relearn policy, an extra help center, a mastery algebra program, and enriching career-technical studies linked to rigorous academics. It has helped Fort Mill earn an on-time graduation rate of more than 90 percent.


Turnaround High School Principals: Recruit, Prepare and Empower Leaders of Change

The publication takes an in-depth look at the kinds of principals required to turn around the lowest-performing 5 percent to 10 percent of public high schools in America. Schools stuck at the bottom of the performance chart need first–rate principals with the motivation, vision, skill and commitment to make dramatic improvements in schools and student achievement. The report describes how we can identify, prepare and support these “turnaround” principals.

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Case Study: Blackman High School – Raising Expectations of All Students

Blackman High School (BHS) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee is committed to raising expectations, enhancing academic studies and providing extra help for students. Administrators ask all teachers, regardless of the content area, to integrate reading and writing into their lessons. This case study details how BHS used the HSTW school improvement model to increase its graduation and retention rates and prepare students for both college and careers.

Publication November 201312 pages(13V16w)

Case Study: Wren High School — Closing the Graduation and Readiness Gap

This South Carolina High School has eliminated all low-level courses, exposed students to a rigorous curriculum and added Advanced Placement classes. It has also strengthened its advisory and guidance programs to ensure all students take the courses that prepare them for college and careers.It was one of 16 high schools to receive the HSTW Platinum High Achievement Award in 2012.

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Publication 201310 pages(13V14w)

Case Study: Fred J. Page High School

Fred J. Page High School in Franklin, Tennessee, provides a high-quality learning environment for students in rural Williamson County, just south of Nashville. Th e staff sets high expectations, meets students where they are academically and challenges them with rigorous coursework in preparing all students to succeed in college and careers. The school has traveled an upward path from 2003, when it was targeted by the state as a “C” school, to 2012, when it became an “A” school. Also in 2012, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) identified Page High School as one of 16 High Schools Th at Work (HSTW) schools in the nation to receive a Platinum High Achievement Award. Th e award is presented to model HSTW sites that deeply implement the HSTW design, teach students a rigorous curriculum and meet high achievement standards. In 2013, Page High School Principal Andrea Anthony was named the best principal in Tennessee by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

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Progress Over a Decade in Preparing More Effective School Principals

Over the past 10 years, SREB has helped states and public universities across the region evaluate their state policies for preparing school principals who are leaders of instruction. This benchmark report reviews the past decade and looks at 10 learning-centered leadership indicators to gauge how far states have come and how far they need to go in selecting, preparing and supporting leaders of change.


2012 School Improvement Publications and Materials Catalogue

This catalogue contains hundreds of useful, fact-filled items — books, research reports, school improvement guides, case studies, brochures, professional development materials and DVDs. The materials are based on data and information from more than two decades of helping school leaders and teachers prepare students for challenging studies leading to success in postsecondary education and a career. They are available for a nominal cost, free of charge and/or on the SREB website and are easy to obtain for distribution in your state, district or school.

Publication November 200960 pages(09V02)

Ready for Tomorrow: Six Proven Ideas to Graduate and Prepare More Students for College and 21st-Century Careers

Evidence from SREB’s High Schools That Work initiative confirms that more students can be prepared for postsecondary opportunities — college, advanced career training or both — when schools combine rigorous academics, authentic projects and assignments in academic and career/technical classes, and guidance and extra help. This report identifies six clear-cut conditions that schools can create in their career-focused programs of study to increase students’ college and career readiness.

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Publication April 201136 pages(11V11)

Five Years of Enhanced HSTW in Texas
Raising Achievement and Preparing Students for College and Careers Through Dedicated Implementation of the Key Practices

This report describes the work and results of a partnership between SREB and the Texas Education Agency to enhance dramatically implementation of  the HSTW improvement design in the state. Between 2005 and 2010, nearly 50 high schools in five cohorts joined the Texas Enhanced Network to adopt this intensive improvement design. These schools are making great strides in implementing the Key Practices and raising student achievement.


Publication 200964 pages(09V01)

Measuring Technical and Academic Achievement: Employer/Certification Examinations’ Role in High School Assessment

As states continue to recognize the important role of career/technical education in school reform, they will need new methods for measuring students’ technical and academic achievement. One assessment option states have is to allow students to pass approved employer certification examinations in lieu of certain academic examinations, in subjects other than reading, writing and mathematics. 

To assist states in identifying potential alternative examinations, SREB reviewed and evaluated more than 200 employer certification examinations, using stringent criteria. In total, 177 examinations are recommended for approval, 86 of which are recommended without reservation and 91 of which are recommended on a provisional basis. The full report contains a brief description of and observations about the nature of these examinations. 

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Publication 200916 pages(05V07-R09)

High Schools That Work: An Enhanced Design to Get All Students to Standards

This brochure describes the High Schools That Work enhanced design for school improvement, including the updated HSTW framework of Goals and Key Practices, recommended core curriculum and key conditions. How progress at HSTW sites is measured to track HSTW success and the goals for implementing literacy across the curriculum are also included. Listed are whatHSTW agrees to do, what network sites agree to do, and what member states agree to do when a site becomes a member of the network and adopts the HSTW reform model.

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