SUCCESS FOR ALL (SFA)
Success for All, a highly
prescriptive instructional model that builds reading skills
through rapid-fire drills and frequent testing has been
rated one of the most effective elementary reforms, especially
for troubled inner city schools. Developed in 1987, Success
for All is currently in 1,300 schools in 47 states. It requires
80% faculty buy-in, rigorous follow-up and a full-time facilitator
for each school. "We're focused on teaching – and we're relentless," declares
program co-founder Robert Slavin. Success for All has rescued
many schools with low test scores.
Kindergarteners work on reading and writing skills at Jordan Community School, one of several Chicago schools that participates in the Comer Process.
The Comer Process, formally referred to as the School Development Program,
was created in 1968 by Yale University Professor of Child Psychiatry, Dr. James Comer.
Unlike models that provide a packaged curriculum, the Comer Process emphasizes a holistic strategy,
linking a child’s academic growth with their social and moral development. To revitalize education,
Comer seeks to re-engage parents and teachers by encouraging them to reach decisions about school
strategies through consensus, rather than letting principals dominate the decision-making process.
Currently, 300 schools actively participate in the Comer network.
A KIPP 3D Academy student in Houston participates in chants along with his classmates.
In 1994, two young
former "Teach for America" recruits, Michael Feinberg and David Levin, developed KIPP – the Knowledge
Is Power Program – a charter program targeting middle schools. Their strategy: hold all students to
high academic standards. No exceptions, no excuses, no shortcuts. KIPP requires a longer school day,
Saturday and early summer classes, committed parents and extended teacher availability. Feinberg
estimates that KIPP students spend 67% more time in school than the normal school year. Reaching
over 6,000 students, there are now 38 KIPP schools in 17 states and the KIPP charter program is
adding 10 new high schools to carry forward its middle-school graduates.
HIGH SCHOOLS THAT WORK
Education reformer, Gene Bottoms, doesn't mince words, "High schools still suffer from being locked in
a system geared for 30 years ago. It's inadequate for the 21st century." A former vocational education
teacher, Bottoms saw tracking that segregated college-bound from work-bound students, leaving one group
with a weak curriculum and the other lacking a well-rounded education. High Schools That Work, Bottoms
model for reform, aims to raise student achievement, reduce dropout rates and boost graduation rates by
setting rigorous standards and work-based learning for all. It is now used by more than 1,000 schools in
31 states. Says Bottoms, "We build hope and change low expectations."