Although significant gains have been made in student performance in elementary school since 1999, when the state finally began to implement the Abbott mandates, achievement in middle and high schools remains dismal. In 2004, the State Board of Education adopted regulations designed to increase student achievement and improve graduation rates. One of the key components of these regulations is that small learning communities be created within existing schools, or that autonomous small schools be developed, offering a rigorous curriculum and the social supports adolescents need to develop into competent, caring adults. The Schumann Fund’s grant enabled the Education Law Center to hire an experienced teacher to lead the effort to advocate for implementation of these recommendations.
David Sciarra, Executive Director