To improve academic achievement in more than 100 urban high schools, the and the have announced a commitment of more than $60 million to Schools for a New Society, a long-term initiative designed to effect sweeping, large-scale reform of urban high schools based on new ideas for secondary education and the revised expectations of teachers, students, parents, and administrators.
Of the twenty-one urban schools invited to apply for the grants in 2000, schools and community organizations in Boston, Chattanooga, Houston, Providence, Sacramento, San Diego, Houston, and Worcester, Massachusetts, were selected to receive the five-year grants. Most of the recipient districts' plans include the creation of smaller learning communities within large schools to offer students more personalized attention. In addition, the districts plan to step up their efforts to teach basic literacy skills and emphasize professional development programs for teachers.
"The winning reform plans were chosen on the basis of the depth of their analysis of current problems and the quality and scope of their vision, ideas, and goals," said Michele Cahill, the Carnegie senior program officer who designed the initiative. Carnegie kicked off the initiative last year by awarding $2.5 million in planning grants and will contribute $40 million to this phase of the program. The Gates Foundation will contribute an additional $20 million.