Throughout the spring and summer of 2007, the Ed Fund convened School Based Study groups to examine The School District of Philadelphia's secondary reform efforts, to discuss the status of changes, and to provide recommendations for the Secondary Education Blueprint.
School-Based Study Groups
The Ed Fund invited high schools to participate in the study group process in spring 2007. A special effort was made to ensure representation of the district's comprehensive high schools in the process. To participate, a school had to identify a team of from five to twelve participants—teachers, administrators, or other staff. The identified school team agreed to meet six times over a five-to-six week period, with each meeting lasting approximately two hours.
A total of ten high schools elected to join the process. An outside facilitator was assigned to each of the study groups to help shape the discussion process, and assist in developing a final report. Facilitators received orientation at an Ed Fund training session in April 2007, and met as a group to review progress about a month later.
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Summer Study Group Institute
In July, 2007, five additional high schools sent teams to a three-day Summer Study Group Institute. The focus of the Institute was to provide a forum to:
- Explore the history of secondary education in Philadelphia over the past 60 years and reflect on students' voices about high school.
- Examine current national trends in secondary education reform
- Develop recommendations for Philadelphia's Blueprint, in the context of the five “Anchors” outlined in The Secondary Education Movement, Phase II: Redesigning Philadelphia's High Schools.