Center for Education Policy has released its Public Education Primer with “Basic (and Sometimes Surprising) Facts about the U.S. Education System.”
An evaluation of Project GRAD, which tries to improve high schools by working to improve feeder elementary and middle schools, shows mixed results. It boosted on-time graduation rates at one school:
At Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, the initiative’s flagship school, Project GRAD had a statistically significant positive impact on the proportion of students who completed a core academic curriculum on time — that is, received an average grade of at least 75 out of 100 in their core courses; earned four credits in English, three in math, two in science, and two in social students; and graduated from high school within four years.
However, progress at other high schools was no better than at similar schools that served as controls.
Changing high school performance is very, very difficult, but not impossible says this Education Sector report on high school reform.