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ERIC Number: ED511402
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 88
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Needles in a Haystack: Lessons from Ohio's High-Performing, High-Need Urban Schools
Suffren, Quentin; Wallace, Teodore J.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
For too long, youngsters in Ohio's major cities have been ill-served and ill-educated by their public schools. In the 2008-09 school year, almost half of these quarter million students--in district and charter schools alike--attended schools rated "D" or "F" by the state. Yet this bleak picture has some bright spots--schools with challenging pupil populations that beat the odds and show real and persistent academic achievement. Such schools are few, but they are worth finding, highlighting, and scouring for lessons. By understanding what makes these rare "Needles in a Haystack" schools successful, lawmakers, educators, and district leaders become better able to shape policies and practices that will create the conditions for more such schools. The findings and lessons reported in this paper are gleaned from the study of eight high-performing, high-need urban public schools across Ohio: (1) Citizens' Academy, charter school, Cleveland; (2) College Hill Fundamental Academy, magnet school, Cincinnati Public Schools; (3) Duxberry Park Arts IMPACT Alternative Elementary School, magnet school, Columbus City Schools; (4) Horizon Science Academy--Cleveland Middle School, charter school; (5) King Elementary School, Akron Public Schools; (6) Louisa May Alcott Elementary School, Cleveland Metropolitan Schools; (7) McGregor Elementary School, Canton City Schools; and (8) Valleyview Elementary School, Columbus City Schools. Appendices include: (1) School-selection methodology; (2) Researcher biographies; (3) Student demographics of Needles schools, 2008-09; (4) Student mobility, attendance, and out-of-school suspension rates at Needles schools, 2008-09; and (5) Teacher-related variables at Needles schools, 2008-09. (Contains 16 endnotes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by Ohio Grantmakers Forum.]
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation & Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Identifiers - Location: Ohio