ERIC Number: EJ990220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 7
Chicago's Use of Small Schools to Tackle the Drop-Out Problem: A Report from the Field
Nowaczewski, Jeanne L.
International Journal on School Disaffection, v1 n2 p37-48 2003
Chicago, like many cities, suffers from a significant drop-out problem in its public high schools. The Chicago Public School system (CPS) committed itself in 2001 to utilize small schools--intimate learning environments of no more than 300 students built on communication, collaboration and meeting the needs of the community they serve--as a strategy to reduce drop-outs and increase graduation rates and college attendance. Based on early success stories of a few pioneering schools elsewhere, the proposed project won extensive support at every strata of civic leadership. It also was awarded a grant of over $20 million from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create 20 autonomous small schools by converting existing schools plus 12 "new start" small schools, all over a seven year period. In addition, the United States Department of Education awarded the system nearly $2 million to support the creation of "smaller learning communities" at five other comprehensive high schools. This article reports on the first two years of this comprehensive project, identifying the methods utilized to implement change, and noting lessons learned, as well as goals for Chicago's road ahead.
Descriptors: College Attendance, High Schools, Graduation Rate, Small Schools, Dropout Prevention, Dropout Rate, Dropouts, Community Needs, Public Schools, Grants, Public Agencies, Federal Aid
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois