Breaking Ranks II and High School Reform
Breaking Ranks II, a follow-up to 1996’s Breaking Ranks: Changing an American Institution, provides school leaders with knowledge, strategies and tools to use to engage the high school community – staff, students, parents & community members – as they work together to create an academically rigorous, personalized learning environment that leads to improved student performance.
It addresses Collaborative Leadership and Professional Learning Communities through building the school’s leadership capacity; the use of organizational structures that facilitate collaboration; and incorporating staff, student, parent and community voice into the improvement process; Personalizing the School Environment ensures that students have a sense of belonging at the school, have ownership in the learning process and that every student is provided with support and equal access to all coursework and programs, and Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment is addressed by identifying essential learnings that are aligned across grade levels and schools; by ensuring instruction is challenging, engaging and relevant; and by using assessments that are balanced, varied and used to inform instruction.
Written as a practical guide for school improvement, Breaking Ranks II is designed to improve the learning experience of every student by providing high school principals and their leadership teams with illustrations of possible entry points or areas in which to begin their work, strategies for implementing sustainable improvement, and profiles of successes, challenges, and results of implementation. The strategies imbedded in Breaking Ranks II are replicable in urban, suburban, and rural schools.