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ERIC Number: EJ868788
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec-16
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
"Diplomas Now" Offers Potential Dropouts Lots of Help
Gewertz, Catherine
Education Week, v29 n15 p16-18 Dec 2009
Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, a 750-student middle school in upper north Philadelphia, is a showcase for a comprehensive approach to dropout prevention. It produced such dramatic improvements in attendance, behavior, and course-passing rates last year that it's being tried this year in 11 more middle or high schools in Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and San Antonio. Dubbed "Diplomas Now," the model blends whole-school reform with social services and an early-warning system. It uses elements of the Talent Development school design developed at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, which emphasizes structuring a school in smaller units so that teams of teachers oversee manageable numbers of students. Professional development and peer coaching for teachers, customized academic help for students, and added instruction in math and literacy are also part of the model. The early-warning system is a pivotal part of the Diplomas Now model. A computerized database, it allows school staff members to closely track three important indicators--attendance, behavior, and course failures--to detect right away which students need help. A key part of the Diplomas Now model is an on-site program coordinator, who serves as what its founders call the "grease and glue" for all the moving parts of the program.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania