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Small High Schools at Work: A Case Study of Six Gates-Funded Schools in New York City

Abstract

"AED conducted a case study of six public high schools in New York City as part of a multifaceted evaluation of a small schools initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through surveys, interviews, and focus groups, we gathered information and opinions from the schools' principals, teachers, support staff, and students. We also conducted observations of classes and meetings to gather data about practices related to such vital matters as personalization, classroom instruction, college preparation, and staff collaboration.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative tapped the expertise of intermediary organizations that provided direct supports to schools. An important part of this case study, then, was to explore how the intermediaries supported schools and how school personnel perceived the intermediaries' interventions.

Guided by the research literature on effective school and classroom practices, the case study looked for evidence of the following practices associated with student success: intermediary support, personal and academic support, effective instructional practices, and college preparation."

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