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ERIC Number: ED499437
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Baltimore City's High School Reform Initiative: Schools, Students, and Outcomes
Urban Institute (NJ1)
In 2001, the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) released its blueprint for reforming the city's high schools. Central to the blueprint were plans to create eight innovation high schools and to convert all nine large, comprehensive high schools into smaller neighborhood schools. Since May 2003, the Urban Institute has been conducting a five-year evaluation of the implementation of Baltimore's high school reform efforts. Over the course of the evaluation, conversations with school personnel and key stakeholders suggested concerns that reform efforts in Baltimore had further stratified the city's high schools. In this report, the authors address such questions using student-level administrative data and the survey data collected by the Urban Institute. Specifically, they answer the following questions: (1) Are students enrolled in innovation high schools more socially and academically advantaged than students enrolled in other BCPSS high schools (i.e., neighborhood, comprehensive, selective and "other"/alternative)? Are the social and academic characteristics of students enrolled in the neighborhood high schools significantly different from students enrolled in the original comprehensive high schools or from one another?; (2) Do students in innovation high schools perform better (i.e., test scores, attendance) than students in other BCPSS high schools (i.e., neighborhood, comprehensive, selective and "other"/alternative)? Are these differences due to the characteristics of the students enrolled in these new high schools?; and (3) Do reforming high schools (i.e., innovation, neighborhood, and comprehensive) differ from one another on their implementation of the guiding principles (e.g., support, effective instruction and leadership)? Are any differences related to the characteristics of the students they enroll? And do the levels of implementation relate to student outcomes? The results presented in this report support earlier conclusions that while the reforminitiative was never fully implemented, there have been some promising signs across the system and within the reforming high schools. Additionally, findings indicate that innovation high schools had more positive academic outcomes and higher test scores and attendance than neighborhood, comprehensive, and "other" high schools, even after controlling for student characteristics such as previous achievement. The results also confirm some of the concerns raised about equal opportunity and equity. The following are appended: (1) School Types, Numbers, and Names; (2) Data Variable Definitions; and (3) Data analysis tables. (Contains 26 exhibits and 19 footnotes.)
Urban Institute. 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5687; Fax: 202-467-5775; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Urban Inst., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Maryland