DeKalb County High School Selected for National Redesign Project

July 12, 2006
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School is among twenty-seven Tennessee high schools which have been selected to participate in a national initiative to model rigorous and relevant curricula.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $5.6 million to the Council of Chief State School Officers and Successful Practices Network to develop a national coalition of promising high schools. Over three years, these Tennessee schools will identify their greatest needs and develop action plans for increasing the rigor and relevance of the high school experience.

\"Tennessee is embracing an innovative approach to ensuring all students graduate with the knowledge to pursue higher education or a successful career,\" said Dr. Keith Brewer, deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Education. \"Not only do we want more students to earn a diploma, we want that diploma to be symbol of true achievement.\"

The Successful Practices Network is national movement founded on the conviction that students learn better when they understand how coursework relates to their life and their future. Each high school will receive training and resources to connect instruction to students' lives and challenge them to meet high expectations. Additional training includes aligning standards, excellence in career technical education, arts education, special education, reading in grades 7-12, small
learning communities and ninth grade academies.

\"Sharing proven strategies provides administrators a wealth of options when deciding how best to meet the needs of their school community,\" Brewer said. \"When educators work together toward the common goal of student achievement, they do so armed with more diverse knowledge and
expertise.\"

The project also fosters collaboration and support amongst the participating high school to help each succeed in the endeavor. An annual model schools conference will draw participating schools from across the country together around the initiative, with a special state-specific session.

Partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education is the Tennessee Business Roundtable, an organization of CEO's working to advance the business climate in Tennessee.

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