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ERIC Number: ED544382
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 108
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
Strategic Designs: Lessons from Leading Edge Small Urban High Schools
Shields, Regis Anne; Miles, Karen Hawley
Education Resource Strategies
Education Resource Strategies (ERS) works with school and district leaders to help them more strategically use resources--people, time, and money--to improve student performance. They have found that many school districts begin creating small high schools without a clear sense of how much they will spend or how to ensure that small schools organize in ways that will promote high performance. To begin to address these challenges, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported ERS in a three-year effort aimed at building understanding and tools to support districts in creating cost-effective systems of high-performing urban high schools. This report summarizes ERS' four main findings from detailed case studies of nine small urban high schools. They have dubbed these nine schools "Leading Edge Schools" because they stand apart from other high schools across the country in designing new ways to "do school" while outperforming most high schools in their local districts. This report explores how the Leading Edge Schools organize their resources--people, time, and money--including how they take advantage of their smallness to improve student performance. The report also looks at how much each of these schools spends to achieve their organizational designs and how the local context--funding levels, administrative policies, and union contracts--affects resource decisions. Although these schools spend varying amounts per pupil and organize resources in unique ways, they share a set of practices that distinguishes them from typical large urban high schools. The following appendices are included: (1) Project Description: Rethinking the Cost of Small High Schools; (2) Introduction to the "Big 3" Framework; (3) Comparative Leading Edge School Data on Diagnostic Resource Indicators (Average, Range); and (4) Comparative Leading Edge School Data on Diagnostic Resource Indicators (by School). (Contains 27 endnotes and 32 figures.) [For the executive summary, see ED544385.]
Education Resource Strategies. 480 Pleasant Street Suite C-200, Watertown, MA 02472. Tel: 617-607-8000; Fax: 617-600-6613; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Education Resource Strategies
Identifiers - Location: California; Illinois; Massachusetts