Key Findings From Research on High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools (page 2)
Key Lessons: High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools
Traditionally, schools with high poverty rates have struggled to educate students successfully. More than 20 years ago, educators began exploring how schools with high numbers of poor students could be as successful in student performance as schools in more advantaged communities. Since then, research has indicated that certain characteristics are associated with increased student achievement and performance in schools traditionally viewed as low performing with a large number of students living in poverty. The following characteristics have been found in successful high poverty schools:
Schools and staff support the belief that all students can and will learn.
High poverty schools with faculties that believe in their students, set high goals for their students, and have professional development activities that promote supportive and nurturing classroom environments have students with higher student achievement scores (Kannapel & Clements, 2005; Carter, 2000.
Ongoing assessment in the school and classrooms allows teachers to individualize instruction for students.
Assessing students, determining the areas in which they need help, and planning or changing the instruction to meet these needs promotes higher levels of student achievement (Kannapel & Clements, 2005; Corallo & McDonald, 2001; Carter, 2000; Barth, et al, 1999).
- Aligning curriculum with instruction and assessment provides teachers with a successful system.
Making sure that instruction follows established standards or curriculum ensures that students are taught the material they will need to be successful at their grade level (Kannapel & Clements, 2005; Corallo & McDonald, 2001; Barth, et al, 1999).
School leadership promotes a collaborative model with teachers involved in decision making.
Though leadership styles may differ, administrators include staff in making key decisions regarding school matters as well as curriculum and instruction (Kannapel & Clements, 2005).
Teachers collaborate across grade levels and curriculum areas to ensure that teachers and students receive the support they need.
Successful schools have collaborative staffs that are invested in the success of each student. Classroom teachers and specialists (e.g., reading teachers, special education teachers, counselors) work together to share responsibility for all students (CCSSO, 2002).
Classrooms with highly qualified teachers enable students to succeed.
Teacher quality, which includes experience, advanced degrees and training, professional development opportunities, and effective instructional skills, is directly related to student achievement (Ascher & Fruchter, 2001; Carter, 2000).
Family involvement in a child’s education positively affects student achievement.
Schools that work together with families and encourage participation in the school and at home enable students to learn and meet grade level expectations (Carter, 2000; Barth, et al, 1999).
Ascher, C., & Fruchter, N. (2001). Teacher quality and student performance in New York City’s low-performing schools. Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk, 6, 199-214.
Barth, P., Haycock, K., Jackson, H., Mora, K., Ruiz, P., Robinson, S., & Wilkins, A. (Eds). (1999). Dispelling the myth: High poverty schools exceeding expectations. Washington, DC: Education Trust.
Carter, S. C. (2000). No excuses: Lessons from 21 high-performing, high-poverty schools. Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation.
Corallo, C., & McDonald, D. (2001). What works with low-performing schools: A review of research literature on low-performing schools. Charleston, WV: AEL, Inc.
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and The Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. (2002). Expecting success: A study of five high performing, high poverty elementary schools. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.
Kannapel, P. J., & Clements, S. K. (2005). Inside the black box of high-performing high-poverty schools: A report from the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Lexington, KY: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
Reprinted with the permission of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. © 2007, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding
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