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Knowledge From the Field

Closing the Achievement Gap: Creating Quality Choices: District Schools

Published: January 2008

Publisher(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation

Author(s): Read, Tory

Funder(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation

View Report (8 pages; 691KB; PDF)

Area of focus: Low-Performing Schools


This report reviews the efforts of the Annie E. Casey Foundation to improve education in its Atlanta Civic Site. Casey worked to improve a feeder school system, with particular focus on Parks Middle School. Increases in student proficiency and attendance were considerable and test scores rose after changes in leadership and curriculum were made and new programs to boost teacher morale and community involvement were implemented. The report also gives examples of successes in other Casey programs in Philadelphia and Oakland.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+ Despite relatively small investments, school performance can be altered with strategic partnerships and the right leadership.

= Recommendations exemplified include: targeting support for school improvement to schools that are in the same feeder pattern and hiring a high-performing liaison to work on the ground with the principal.

Geographic Focus: Atlanta, GA; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA

Subjects/Keywords: Low-performing schools; school reform; student proficiency; school attendance; leadership; community

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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