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ERIC Number: ED544607
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
Focusing on the Basics in Beat-the-Odds Schools. Policy Brief
Lefkowits, Laura; Woempner, Carolyn
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
Researchers at Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) recently completed a study of "beat-the-odds" schools--high-needs schools that demonstrated atypically high student achievement. This policy brief draws from the report of the study's findings, "High-Needs Schools--What Does It Take to Beat the Odds?" (ED486626). The study focused on four key components identified as broadly contributing to school success and examined how the components interact to contribute to success in high-needs schools. The four key components are: (1) Leadership: Leading organizational change, providing instructional guidance, and establishing shared mission and goals; (2) Professional Community: Teachers collaborating, receiving professional development, and being encouraged to have influence in school matters; (3) School Environment: Parents involved meaningfully, the school culture focused on academic achievement, a safe and orderly climate, and attention to assessment and monitoring; and (4) Instruction: Individualized learning, structured instruction with feedback to meet student needs, and challenging opportunities to learn. "McREL Insights: Schools that 'Beat the Odds'" and McREL's "High-Performing, High-Needs Schools Resource Guide" are two resources that McREL has prepared to help further the application of this important research in the field. This brief extends this work and offers guidance to local school board members and other policy makers who seek to support their district's school improvement efforts by providing effective policy derived from research-based evidence. These policy suggestions can become part of a system-wide effort to improve student achievement.
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). 4601 DTC Parkway Suite 500, Denver, CO 80237-2596. Tel: 303-337-0990; Fax: 303-337-3005; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)