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Approaches of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-Funded Intermediary Organizations to Structuring and Supporting Small High Schools in New York City

Abstract

"This study examines the role that intermediary organizations, which are the groups responsible for distributing grant funds and starting and advising new small schools, played in the Gates Foundation's New York City initiative. The study is part of a collaborative research effort funded by the foundation and led by MDRC that included the Academy for Educational Development and PSA.

In this study, PSA presents intermediaries' various approaches to school design and capacity-building, answering four descriptive questions:
* What expertise did intermediary organizations bring to the small schools initiative?
* What were the key features of their school designs?
* What pressures and supports did intermediaries apply to encourage implementation of the school designs?
* What challenges constrained their efforts to establish schools that prepared youth for college and careers?
We also answer an analytic question: Did intermediary approaches to reform reflect the complexity of the challenge as it has been described and understood over the recent history of school reform?"

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