What Works

What Works: an informal collection of strategies and programs to inform the public discussion of how to improve student learning for high poverty populations of students.

What Works: Cincinnati's Community Learning Center program

American Public Media’s Marketplace featured the Cincinnati “Community Learning Centers” in this report from May 2012…
Tackling poverty along with reading and arithmetic
Kai Ryssdal: Education is the great equalizer. It's historically the path out of poverty in this country. But how do you get poor kids to do well in class if they're not getting enough to eat at home? Or they need glasses? Or their parents can't help them with their homework at night?
What if you took care of a lot of the stuff that's supposed to happen outside school in school?
In the second of two stories on education and poverty, Marketplace's Amy Scott takes us to a school in Cincinnati trying to do exactly that.

“Cincinnati’s community learning centers are revitalizing the city’s neighborhoods, bringing families back into public schools and instilling a new sense of hope in neighborhoods where students often gave up on their education. Many share the vision of an education system that serves children from the early years through their transition to post-secondary learning and careers.”
Selected Results from Cincinnati CLCs
  • Since adopting the CLC strategy, Cincinnati is the first urban district in Ohio to receive an “effective” rating and is the highest- performing urban district in Ohio.
  • CLCs are demonstrating improvement. In 2007–08, only 30.8 percent of CLCs had a rating of continuous improvement or higher; in 2010–11, 73.1 percent of CLCs achieved that distinction.
  • High school graduation rates climbed from 51 percent in 2000 to 83 percent in 2009.
  • The achievement gap between African American students and white students narrowed from 14.5 percent in 2003 to 4.3 percent in 2009.

The Community Learning Center Institute
The Community Learning Center Institute leads the ongoing engagement of the Greater Cincinnati community in the development of all schools as community learning centers, each with a set of financially self-sustaining, co-located community partnerships responsive to the vision and needs of each school and its neighborhood.

What Works: University Affiliation and Additional Funding
District studies options for Penn Alexander kindergarten sign-ups
Kristen A. Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER  January 22, 2013, 9:59 PM
For now, a lottery is still in place for next year's kindergarten classes at Penn Alexander, a public school in West Philadelphia so well regarded that 70 parents were prepared to camp outside for four days and nights to secure spots for their children.
But after a meeting with more than 100 parents and interested community members Tuesday, Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said he was willing to work with the community to explore alternative solutions.
"Serving every student in the catchment area is the desire of individuals, and that's what we would like to do," Hite said, adding that he was "not guaranteeing" that goal.

“…the efforts of the school district should be directed toward using this publicity to aggressively call upon all the colleges and universities in Philadelphia to create neighborhood lab schools. If you build it, they will come.”
Penn Alexander School: The lottery is a travesty
 Inquirer Letter to the Editor by Dom Giordano January 23, 2013, 3:01 AM
I WAS RECENTLY on the website City-data.com and came upon this question: "We are considering moving to West Philadelphia from Lansdowne so our daughters can attend the Penn Alexander School. The attendance area is basically 40th-46th streets between Sansom and Baltimore Avenue. Is it possible to buy a nice place under 200k? Is it relatively safe? What are the taxes like?"  Most of the people who answered said it was a safe area and a mecca for families with kids who wanted the school and the diversity of the city. Imagine that - an area of the city and a school serving as a magnet, attracting young families, improving real estate values and providing Philadelphia with a source of better taxes.

What Works: Students get in the groove with Tune Up Philly
Samantha Byles, Inquirer Staff Writer POSTED: Friday, November 30, 2012, 6:57 AM
For Delia Raab-Snyder, the process of learning and playing an instrument is about community.
"We wanted to make music a social activity," said Raab-Snyder, "because it is."
The director of Tune Up Philly, an after-school music-enrichment program, said: "It shouldn't be something that you sit in your room all day and do by yourself. We want future students to see that their friends are playing and that those friends are playing for the entire school at the concert and then performing for the church next door, and say, 'If they can do it, then so can I.' "
Tune Up Philly is one of five ensembles of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, an independent outreach program.
The concept is adapted from the Venezuelan music program El Sistema. Led by Jose Antonio Abreu, the program was developed to teach low-income children how to play and perform orchestra-style music. Famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, attended El Sistema.

5 states will increase some class time
Post Gazette By Josh Lederman / The Associated Press December 3, 2012 12:19 am
WASHINGTON -- Open your notebooks and sharpen your pencils. School for thousands of public school students is about to get quite a bit longer.
Five states were to announce today that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.

What Works: Philadelphia Education Fund
Getting kids to and through college

The College Story: An Ed Fund Infographic

We have an important story to tell.
It's about our city's children. It's about giving them what they deserve.
And that's a high-quality education.
It's about how we can all work together to change the status quo and not settle for just barely doing the work. 
Feel free to share this with your friends and networks so we can work together to educate our communities and show that we can IMPACT our children's futures

What Works: Boston's City Connects program:
Twenty years of “school reform” via vouchers, charters and tax credits has not shown them to be systematically any more effective than traditional public schools when it comes to educating high poverty populations of kids.  Here’s an alternative approach that bears closer scrutiny by education policymakers at the state and federal levels:

“The City Connects team has been collecting and analyzing data for 10 years that demonstrate their approach to addressing non-school factors significantly improves academic performance and narrows the achievement gap.  Briefly, their students are doing better on standardized tests, have less retention in grade and chronic absenteeism, and are less likely to drop out of school than students who are never part of City Connects.”

More on Turning Schools Around

 Stu Silberman   | 1 Comment
In a recent blog post about turning around chronically low performing schools, I stressed the critical importance of principal leadership in making such turnarounds possible.
In response, I heard from staff at City Connects, a non-profit organization that addresses out-of-school factors that affect learning (hunger, homelessness, violence, etc.) in the Boston and SpringfieldMA, public schools. Many of these are turnaround schools. City Connects Executive Director Mary E. Walsh wrote: "While strong school leadership is imperative, we believe that it is unfair to ask schools and teachers to bear sole responsibility for closing the economic divide. Systematically addressing out-of-school factors can help students achieve and removes the burden from teachers, allowing them to focus on delivering quality instruction. In fact, our results show that the positive impact of City Connects is greater than the negative impact of poverty when considering student growth in academic achievements across grades 1-5."
At City Connects, trained School Site Coordinators work with teachers and school staff to look at the whole child across four domains: academics, social/emotional/behavioral, health and family. Together, they identify the in- and out-of-school factors affecting every student and match students to community- and school-based services and enrichment activities most appropriate for their individual strengths and needs. The current work is in K-5/K-8 schools with pilots underway for early childhood and high school models.
The results they report are impressive. For a cost of less than $500 per child, they are helping to break through achievement gaps. I believe this program (and others like it), in conjunction with strong development of principals, should be replicated around the country to help turn around chronically low- performing schools.

Here’s the website for City Connects…..
Welcome to City Connects
We are an innovative school-based intervention that revitalizes student support in grades K-8. City Connects collaborates with teachers and school staff to identify the strengths and needs of every child. We then create a uniquely tailored set of intervention, prevention, and enrichment services located in the school and community designed to help each student learn and thrive. By address the in- and out-of-school factors that impact children, we help students succeed in school.

WHAT WORKS: Burning Through Pages
Burning Through Pages is a non-profit organization based out of Denver, CO dedicated to the advocacy of reading and writing for our city's youth. The working concept of Burning Through Pages is that the literature assigned by public and private schools, while important, contains dated prose and often antiquated ideals. While the classics are classics for a reason, they are not always easily relatable to the current generation reading them. That's where we come in. We are here to introduce new and updated literature to Denver's youth. We buy books, give them away, and take the time to talk about them.
Burning Through Pages Inc. has one goal and one goal only:
To inspire a love of reading in today's youth by recommending, donating, and discussing books.

WHAT WORKS: Reach Out and Read 
Reach Out and Read prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.

WHAT WORKS: Formative Assessments, Differentiated Instruction, Targeted Interventions

“A total of 92% of the teachers surveyed reported that formative, ongoing assessments were absolutely essential or important in measuring student achievement. Furthermore, more than 90% of teachers actively use student performance data of this sort to differentiate instruction, target interventions for students in need of help, and otherwise improve their teaching.”

Gates/Scholastic Teacher Survey Challenges Assumptions About Test-Based Reform

 Anthony Cody  
The  big headline from the recent Gates/Scholastic survey of teachers is that only 28% of teachers see standardized tests as an essential or important gauge of student assessment, and only 26% say they are accurate as a reflection of student knowledge. Another question reveals part of the reason this may be so - only 45% of teachers think their students take these tests seriously, or perform to the best of their ability.


Published in Print: January 18, 2012
WHAT WORKS: What Works in School Turnarounds?
Education Week Commentary By Alan M. Blankstein and Pedro Noguera
An important feature of the Obama administration's Race to the Top initiative is the call to turn around failing schools. The policy calls for persistently failing schools to be subjected to specific turnaround strategies, and $3.5 billion in federal School Improvement Grant funds has been allocated to support the effort.
We applaud President Barack Obama's desire to address this pervasive problem. However, we are concerned that the approach prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education, while well intentioned, is misguided. Because of the vast sums of federal dollars that have been directed toward this effort and the narrow timeline under which changes are expected to be made, we are seeing a new industry of "turnaround experts" emerge, most of whom have no track record of helping struggling schools. We are concerned that desperate schools will waste scarce resources on efforts that will promise much but deliver little. Meanwhile, millions of children throughout America will continue to languish in failing schools.

WHAT WORKS: Creating Teacher Incentives for School Excellence and Equity
National Education Policy Center by Barnett Berry, Jon Eckert, Scott R. Bauries
January 12, 2012
Ensuring that all students in America’s public schools are taught by good teachers is an educational and moral imperative. The teacher is the most important school-based influence on student achievement, and poor children and those of color are less likely to be taught by well-qualified, experienced, and effective teachers than other students. Yet teacher incentive proposals — including those promoted by President Obama’s Race to the Top program — are rarely grounded on what high-quality research indicates are the kinds of teacher incentives that lead to school excellence and equity

WHAT WORKS: New program shows the promise and possibilities for parent engagement
By Carol Kocivar, Carol Kocivar is president of the California State PTA.
Have you ever taken a peek into the future? A quick snapshot into tomorrow?
I did recently at a small elementary school in South San Francisco.
Twenty-nine parents walked into the school’s multipurpose room to the sound of Pomp and Circumstance. Families grinned. Children clapped. Moms and dads marched to the folding chairs in the front of the room: graduates of the PTA School Smarts Parent Academy. The principal handed out certificates and words of praise. Parent speeches in Spanish and English demonstrated new communication skills.  A graduation. A promise of the future … not only for these parents but for their children and their school.

High-Performing and Low-Spending Pennsylvania School Districts: Best Practices and Other Factors
A Report Pursuant to Senate Resolution 243 of 2010, December 2010
On March 22, 2010, the Senate of Pennsylvania adopted Senate Resolution 243 “[d]irecting the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of efficiency in public school funding….” More specifically, the Senate directed “the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of the 82 school districts found to be successful schools in the APA costing-out study and to issue a report … of their best practices and other factors that are believed to help contribute to this recognized efficiency and success.”

What Works: Poverty - Schools Cannot Ignore Its Impact and Improve
The Principal Difference Blog by Mel Riddle
While educators cannot cure poverty, we can recommend strategies that will create a level playing field so that under-resourced students are provided the resources they need to bring them up to par with their middle class counterparts. 
1. Early Childhood Education - If we know that children in poverty will arrive at school two to three years behind, why do we wait for the train wreck? "The bipartisan New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce has recommended that public education begin at age 3 for American students. And studies show that the best early childhood programs are staffed by teachers with college degrees and early education certification, offer developmentally appropriate education, include a focus on language development and comprehensive services such as meals and health and developmental screenings and encourage parental involvement." 
2. Best Teachers and Principals - Provide incentives for teachers and principals to work in under-resourced schools. The current strategy of "blame and punish" only serves to drive out the most qualified.
3. Funding - Finally, we must acknowledge that it simply costs more to educate some students. We already admit that it costs more to educate special needs and language-learners, why not poor students?
4. Literacy - Reading and writing skills are the great equalizers helping under-resourced students achieve at middle class levels. We know that poor children lack literacy skills, and, therefore, we must provide direct, explicit literacy instruction beginning the day they first arrive at school and every day thereafter.
5. Time - In order to level the playing field, we must provide under-resourced students more time to learn. It's not about ability. These students don't lack ability. They lack resources and supports. Time is the key. If we hold learning time constant, student achievement looks like a bell curve. We need to provide longer school years, after school tutoring and tiered interventions for all students but particularly for children living in poverty.

What Works: Raising achievement in underperforming schools
PSBA Education Research & Policy Center  (October 2011) 
Through research, literature reviews and interviews, the PSBA Education Research & Policy Center has gathered what experts cite most often as the best way to improve school performance. Through the findings, the Center developed three recommendations for raising student achievement.
Download the 32 page report PDF Raising achievement in underperforming schools

What Works: PSEA Solutions That Work
Solutions That Work is a blueprint for change that is grounded in firsthand knowledge, supported by research, and tested in practice.
We invite you to see for yourself. On this site, you can explore the full text of Solutions That Work in greater detail. Learn how districts and individuals throughout Pennsylvania are making a difference. And discover some of the newest and most exciting findings in education research.

WHAT WORKS: Startlingly sensible achievement gap fix

Washington Post By Jay Mathews, Published: January 4

You cannot understand modern education policy without a grasp of the achievement gap. On average, low-income students have lower academic achievement than affluent students. Black or Hispanic students similarly score lower on standardized tests, on average, than white or Asian students.
School leaders say they want to reduce those gaps but are uncertain about how to do it. They should read a new book by Arlington County educators who mounted one of the most sustained assaults on the achievement gap ever seen in this area.

SCHOOL CHOICE: Three school districts will merge teaching efforts

Penn Manor, Hempfield and Manheim Township plan to unveil an “open campus” project that is believed to be the first collaborative effort of its kind in Pennsylvania
Intelligencer Journal Lancaster New Era Dec 28, 2011 23:01, BRIAN WALLACE, Staff Writer
Imagine a high school where students can take classes as early as 7 a.m. or as late as 9 p.m.
Some of the courses are taught face-to-face in the school, with others delivered online and still others taught through a mix of classroom and computer-based instruction.
At this school, tuition is free and students can enroll in specialty courses such as Latin and business Spanish that their home schools don't offer.

WHAT WORKS: Tune Up Philly: Finding Purpose Through Music.

JUMP The Philadelphia Music Project by Rick Kauffman, June 3, 2011
Tune Up Philly is the first of its kind in the United States, an intensive after-school program aiming to nurture urban school children by engaging them with music.
Director Stanford Thompson aspires to ingrain in the students a level of confidence, to teach them to learn more effectively and to foster their musical talents.

 The Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE) presents reliable, unbiased reviews of research-proven educational programs

The Best Evidence Encyclopedia is a free web site created by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE) under funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. It is intended to give educators and researchers fair and useful information about the strength of the evidence supporting a variety of programs available for students in grades K-12.

“…our first priority must be to improve access to books among all children, and especially those who live in poverty, and the most obvious first step is to invest in libraries in high-poverty areas.”
Need Children Read ‘Proficiently’ by Grade Three?
By Stephen Krashen, Language Magazine October 2011
A study by Donald Hernandez, titled “Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High-School Graduation,” has received a great deal of attention in the media, including a notice in Language Magazine (May, 2011). The study, based on an analysis of 4000 children studied over ten years, concluded that those who don’t read “proficiently” by third grade are less likely to graduate high school, and those who live in poverty and also do not read “proficiently” by grade three are even less likely to graduate high school.

What Works: Early Childhood Education

PNC extends support for preschool education programs

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

By Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PNC Financial Services Group today will announce a $250 million extension of "PNC Grow Up Great," a program supporting early childhood education that more than 1 million children have been a part of since it was launched in 2004.

"We settled on early childhood education and based our decision on studies that showed that for every dollar you spend on early childhood education, society saves $16 in rehabilitation, incarceration and welfare. There was a need."

Mr. Rohr said evaluations of children at the early childhood centers where PNC's money has been invested show that they have improved dramatically in math.

What Works: Back to school: How parent involvement affects student achievement (At a glance)

The Center for Public Education Posted August 30, 2011

It may be one of the least controversial statements in American education: Parent involvement can make a difference in a child's education. The conflict can come, though, on how to define that involvement. Do all the PTA meetings, take-home flyers and Back to School nights actually generate increases in student achievement? The Center for Public Education examined the research and found that creating a partnership between parents and schools focused on academics truly does have significant impact on student achievement.


What Works: Krashen – More books, not more tests for kids in poverty.

What Works: Krashen – More books, not more tests for kids in poverty.
To Improve Schools, Fight Poverty, Education Expert Says
Fordham University eNewsroom July 11, 2011
In a July 7 lecture at Fordham, Stephen Krashen, Ph.D. disputed the notion of "our failing schools" and said the real problem facing American schoolchildren is poverty.

See this link for more details on the PISA exam results and poverty:

Our Schools are Not Broken: The Problem is Poverty
Stephen Krashen, Commencement Speech, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Lewis and Clark College, June 5, 2011
We have been told repeatedly that our schools are "broken," that our teachers are inadequate, that our schools of education are not doing their job, and that teachers unions are spending all their time protecting bad teachers. The evidence is the fact that American students do not score at the top of the world on international test scores. One observer claimed that American students are "taking a shellacking" on these tests.
Not so. Studies show that middle-class American students attending well-funded schools outscore students in nearly all other countries on these tests. Overall scores are unspectacular because over 20% of our students live in poverty, the highest percentage among all industrialized countries. High-scoring Finland, for example, first on the PISA science test in 2006, has less than 4% child poverty.

What Works: How to improve summer school?  To save programs and money, and improve results, what changes should be made?

Look to the Charter Schools

New York Times, Room For Debate, Updated July 10, 2011, 07:00 PM
Pedro Noguera, a sociologist, is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. He is also executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and serves on the State University of New York Board of Trustees.
One of the major advantages that the best charter schools have over traditional public schools is that they can offer a longer school day and school year. While many middle-class families are able to afford summer camps and a variety of after-school programs for their children, poor families typically cannot. Differences in learning time and in access to enrichment activities that support child development, contribute to the disparities in academic outcomes that we now refer to as the achievement gap.

What Works: Early EducationWhat Works: Early Education

Large-Scale Early Education Linked to Higher Living Standards and Crime Prevention 25 Years Later

ScienceDaily (June 10, 2011) — High-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, according to research led by Arthur Reynolds, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative and professor of child development, and Judy Temple, a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The study is the longest follow-up ever of an established large-scale early childhood program.
In the study published June 9 in the journal Science, Reynolds and Temple (with co-authors Suh-Ruu Ou, Irma Arteaga, and Barry White) report on more than 1,400 individuals whose well-being has been tracked for as much as 25 years. Those who had participated in an early childhood program beginning at age 3 showed higher levels of educational attainment, socioeconomic status, job skills, and health insurance coverage as well as lower rates of substance abuse, felony arrest, and incarceration than those who received the usual early childhood services.

What Works: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers in All Communities

What Works: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers in All Communities
From the Center for American Progress
By Frank Adamson, Linda Darling-Hammond | May 20, 2011
The fact that well-qualified teachers are inequitably distributed to students in the United States has received growing public attention. By every measure of qualifications—certification, subject matter background, pedagogical training, selectivity of college attended, test scores, or experience—less-qualified teachers tend to be found in schools serving greater numbers of low-income and minority students. Studies in state after state have found that students of color in low- income schools are 3 to 10 times more likely to have unqualified teachers than students in predominantly white schools.

What Works: Beaver Valley IU Regional Choice Initiative

Coordinated by the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit on behalf of 16 area school districts, the Regional Choice Initiative creates a collaborative partnership that strengthens the academic infrastructure and increases overall student achievement.  The program is funded by the US Dept. of Education's Voluntary Public School Choice Grant.

What Works:

Philadelphia Futures helps disadvantaged students reach college

By Kia Gregory, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted on Mon, Jul. 4, 2011

For Philadelphia Futures, the mission is simple: get students to and through college. The work begins as early as ninth grade through long-term mentoring, academic enrichment, college guidance, and financial help as part of its Sponsor-a-Scholar initiative. The motto is, "Make it happen, no matter what."

"We want these students to have a vision for themselves," executive director Joan Mazzotti said.  Since the initiative began in 1990, about 895 students have completed the high school portion of the program. Of those, 370 have earned postsecondary degrees, 328 from four-year schools. That graduation rate represents 41 percent of Futures scholars, a rate much higher than the national average for low-income, first-generation college students.

US Dept of Education What Works Clearinghouse
NSBA School Board News Today for 12/08/10
Report shows how all school districts can continue to improve

Here’s the McKinsey & Company report referenced in the NSBA article above:
How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better
How does a school system with poor performance become good? And how does one with good performance become excellent?
U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences
A central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education.

Doing What Works (DWW) is a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of DWW is to create an online library of resources that may help teachers, schools, districts, states and technical assistance providers implement research-based instructional practice.

DWW is led by the Office of Planning, Evaluation & Policy Development (OPEPD) at the U.S. Department of Education. OPEPD relies on the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education (and occasionally other entities that adhere to standards similar to those of IES) to evaluate and recommend practices that are supported by rigorous research. 

National Education Policy Center
The mission of the National Education Policy Center (based at the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education)  is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.

Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education
The Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) was founded in 2008 to address issues of educational opportunity, access, equity, and diversity in the United States and internationally. SCOPE engages faculty from across Stanford and from other universities to work on a shared agenda of research, policy analysis, educational practice, and dissemination of ideas to improve quality and equality of education from early childhood through college.
Research Spotlight on Best Practices in Education
An NEA Venue for Best Pedagogical Practices

Turning around lower-performing schools is a high priority for the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association. By leading permanent changes in these Priority Schools, we will transform the lives of tens of thousands of students by significantly raising academic achievement.
Our commitment includes a vow to work side-by-side with communities and with policymakers in state capitals, in Congress and the Obama administration; to partner in pursuit of innovative programs to measure student success and teacher quality; and to fight to attract and keep the best educators and necessary resources for the schools of greatest need.

Center for Teaching Quality
The Center for Teaching Quality seeks to improve student learning and advance the teaching profession by cultivating teacher leadership, conducting timely research, and crafting smart policy — all in an effort to ensure that every student in America has a qualified, well-supported and effective teacher.

Best Practices searchable database

U.S.News & World Report—in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business that provides parents with education data—analyzed academic and enrollment data from more than 21,000 public high schools to find the very best across the country. These top schools were placed into gold, silver, bronze, or honorable mention categories.

The Forum for Education and Democracy - What Works
The Forum for Education and Democracy, with offices in Ohio, is a national education "action tank" committed to the public, democratic role of public education — the preparation of engaged and thoughtful democratic citizens. At The Forum, we work to promote a public education system worthy of a democracy, one characterized by strong public schools, equity of educational resources, and an informed, involved citizenry.  Our work is "reality-based," coming from the long tenure of our Conveners who have extensive, "hands-on" school experience.