The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $27.9 million in grants to three comprehensive school reform models developed by the university's Center for Social Organization of Schools.
The funding comes from two grant packages aimed at supporting the design, research and implementation of school reform models nationwide for the next five years. In all, 11 programs received grants totaling $84.6 million under the two grant programs. The Hopkins-developed programs receiving funding were the Talent Development High School, the Talent Development Middle School and Success for All. All three use research-based reform strategies to turn around low-performing, high-poverty schools.
"This is important news for education reform," said James McPartland, director of CSOS and of the Talent Development High School model. "These grants show that the federal government is committed to adopting education reform strategies that are grounded in tested research and to making those reforms available to as many schools as want them. It also indicates an emphatic shift toward comprehensive school reform and away from a piecemeal, fragmented approach to reform."
The Talent Development High School program divides large high schools into self-contained academies, including a Ninth Grade Success Academy that helps students make the successful transition to high school, and career-themed academies for upper-grade students. The program includes a college-ready curriculum for every student, a flexible schedule that allows extra help for students falling behind and professional development.
The Talent Development Middle School program includes a curriculum built on a core of high standards and instructional strategies, flexible schedules that allow extra help for students struggling with course work, professional development and weekly in-classroom implementation support from Hopkins facilitators.
Success for All is an elementary-school reform model known for its intense reading, writing and language arts curriculum, one-on-one tutoring for young students struggling to read, professional development for teachers and an active family support program. Developed by Hopkins researchers, Success for All last year became an independent nonprofit foundation, though it is still closely affiliated with the university.
In the first grant, the Talent Development Middle and High School models were awarded $2.3 million this year and an expected five-year total of $11.6 million. The funding will provide facilitators, curriculum materials and the resources needed for the increasing number of schools wishing to adopt the Hopkins models. The Success for All Foundation received $1.6 million this year, and $12.2 million over five years, to develop a Success for All middle-school program that builds on its widely adopted elementary-school reform model. The three Hopkins programs were among seven comprehensive school reform models awarded grants.
The second grant is intended to assist implementation of reform models by providing funds for technical support with special emphasis on the development of technology-based assistance for schools, such as interactive Web sites, training videos, and electronic communication among teachers and administrators adopting the programs at different schools. The new technology will be especially helpful to rural areas, where school reform organizations have difficulty sending trainers and facilitators on a regular basis. The grant awarded $2.1 million to Success for All, $469,583 to Talent Development Middle Schools and $468,791 to Talent Development High Schools. Six other school reform models also received funding.