ERIC Number: ED499820
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Reference Count: N/A
The High Schools We Need: Improving an American Institution
Shannon, G. Sue; Bylsma, Pete
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
American high schools are increasingly the target of educational reform. Today's high schools are expected to graduate all students with the rigorous academic knowledge and skills necessary to prepare them for college or a career. This report provides a comprehensive look at high school reform based on research and professional literature. It describes the characteristics of high schools we have and need and suggests strategies and models for improving them. Examples of schools and districts in Washington are highlighted. This report is comprised of eight chapters. Chapter 1 provides the context for the current focus on improving high schools and demonstrated some urgency for changing them. Chapter 2 describes the features of traditional comprehensive high schools and their current inadequacies for meeting higher expectations for preparing students for a changing future. Chapter 3 discusses the historical development of the high school in America and the various reforms that have shaped the modern high school. Chapter 4 provides a number of organizational components that can help improve high schools. Chapter 5 examines the essential core of high school education: classroom teaching and learning. Chapter 6 provides a general discussion and examples of change processes and describes some potential impediments to change. Chapter 7 provides examples of specific high school improvement models and includes an overview of some initiatives offered in national and state reports as solutions to the purportedly failing high schools. Chapter 8 includes a summary and implications for state and local policy and suggests next steps for making changes in high schools. Appendix A includes information about Washington state graduation requirements. Appendix B provides brief summaries of programs and practices that some high schools are using as they have embarked on their journey of school improvement and are beginning to experience success along the way. The report is intended for a broad audience of educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
Descriptors: High Schools, School Restructuring, Graduation Requirements, Educational Change, Context Effect, Institutional Characteristics, Educational History, Factor Analysis, Classroom Techniques, Learning, Change Strategies, Effective Schools Research, Educational Policy
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Old Capitol Building, P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200. Tel: 360-725-6000; Web site: http://www.k12.wa.us/
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: Washington Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia.
Identifiers - Location: Washington