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ERIC Number: ED511822
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Coherent Approach to High School Improvement: A School and District Needs Assessment Tool
National High School Center
High school improvement initiatives often focus on specific intervention strategies, programs, or priority topics (e.g., dropout intervention). However, research shows that systemic and sustainable improvement can only be achieved when initiatives are implemented with consideration for the broader education contexts in which they operate. The National High School Center has developed "A Coherent Approach to High School Improvement: A School and District Needs Assessment Tool" to help districts and schools, in alignment with state goals, assess current high school education policies and practices, identify areas of strengths and limitations, and implement coherent school reform initiatives. The foundation for this needs assessment tool is the National High School Center's "Eight Elements of High School Improvement: A Mapping Framework." This framework was developed to support researchers, policymakers, and practitioners at all levels in their efforts to maximize the achievement of all high school students. The document outlines eight core elements that can be used as a lens for mapping school, district, and state high school improvement efforts in a comprehensive, systemic manner. The eight elements of high school improvement are: (1) Rigorous Curriculum and Instruction; (2) Teacher Effectiveness and Professional Development; (3) Stakeholder Engagement; (4) Organization and Structure; (5) Assessment and Accountability; (6) Student and Family Supports; (7) Leadership and Governance; and (8) Resources for Sustainability. This needs assessment tool is designed to help school and district staff guide the development of high school improvement goals and strategies, with appropriate support from state education agencies. While this tool is directly focused on high school improvement at the school and district levels, state education agencies play an important role in building the capacity of schools and districts to support and align continuous improvement efforts.
National High School Center. American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 800-634-0503; Fax: 202-403-5875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Support Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National High School Center