Learning First Alliance

Strengthening public schools for every child

Amazing Stories from Our Public Schools

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Have you checked out our collection of public school success stories lately?

Since December 2007, we at the Learning First Alliance have posted more than 150 stories about what is working in our public schools. Some come from our member and partner organizations. Others have been submitted by educators, parents and other community members proud of what is going on in their local public school.

Criteria for inclusion are relatively simple: A story must show that a public school or district (or even state) recognized a challenge, addressed it, and had some results. Often those results come in the form of standardized test scores, reduced dropout rates or increased graduation rates. Other times they recognize positive changes to student behavior, classroom grades, student health, or parental engagement. 

In the spirit of the “best of” lists that tend to circulate this time of year, here are the top five of these stories from 2011*, as determined by you, our audience (as indicated by our trusty Google Analytics tracking system). Enjoy!

5. Cleveland Program to Close Achievement Gap Shows Proof of Success

A Cleveland Metropolitan School District program provides personal attention and assistance to low-achiev­ing black eighth grade males who are deemed most likely to drop out of school. 

4. Alabama’s Graduation Coaches

Thanks in part to an initiative showing the success of school-level “graduation coaches," Alabama is among the top states in improving its graduation rate. 

3. Using Electives to Get Struggling Students More Math 

A Michigan district helps struggling high school students catch up - and get ahead - by offering two math classes a day.

2. Flipping the Classroom: Homework in Class, Lessons at Home 

After a Michigan high school starts “flipping the classroom,” grades went up and discipline problems went down.

1. Arts Integrated Curriculum Helps Students Overcome Challenges of Poverty

A New Jersey school offers a rich curriculum that helps its largely low-income student population develop individual creative strengths, confidence and problem-solving abilities while exceeding state academic standards.

Want more good news about what’s working in our public schools? Check out success stories housed over at NSBA’s Center for Public EducationAASA ConnectNASSP, Edutopia, and NEA's Priority Schools Campaign.

*These stories were not necessarily posted in 2011. They were the stories that were most viewed during the calendar year.