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ERIC Number: ED477376
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Wall to Wall: Implementing Small Learning Communities in Five Boston High Schools. LAB Working Paper.
Allen, Lili; Almeida, Cheryl; Steinberg, Adria
This paper describes the experiences of five high schools in Boston, Massachusetts, a district with a successful history of career pathways and academies that, in the last 3 years, has encouraged schools to restructure entirely into smaller learning communities. The schools work to benchmark curriculum to high standards, ensure effective instructional practice, implement multiple and ongoing assessments, create small learning communities, reduce student-teacher ratios, create respectful learning environments, and build partnerships with families, communities, businesses, and higher education. Data from interviews and document reviews at these schools indicate that a strong curricular leader is essential to developing a strong, effective learning community; tensions result from decisions regarding how to fully cluster students and teachers into small learning communities; it is difficult to maintain basic services for bilingual students; it is difficult to balance the desire of teachers for input into staffing decisions with the need to ensure that students have equal access to a range of pathways; and it is challenging to focus simultaneously on implementing new district initiatives directed at preparing students for high stakes tests and on restructuring schools into small learning communities using inquiry-based, contextual learning strategies. The research methodology is appended. (Contains 18 references.) (SM)
Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory, 222 Richmond Street, Suite 300, Providence, RI 02903-4226. Tel: 401-274-9548; Fax: 401-421-7650; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Lab. at Brown Univ., Providence, RI.