Talent Development High Schools

The Philadelphia Education Fund was the regional partner for Johns Hopkins University's Talent Development comprehensive school reform initiative for low-performing high schools. The Ed Fund worked with Hopkins to implement and evaluate Talent Development High Schools with Career Academies within the School District of Philadelphia. The Talent Development model was adopted in seven of the District's comprehensive neighborhood high schools:

Thomas Edison HS, 1999
Strawberry Mansion HS, 1999
Simon Gratz HS, 2000
Germantown HS, 2001
Benjamin Franklin HS, 2001
Kensington HS, 2003
South Philadelphia HS, 2003

Core Components

  • Ninth Grade Success Academy

    A self-contained school-within-a-school that provides incoming freshmen with a 'double-dose' curriculum in English and Math

  • Tenth Grade Success Academy

    The continuation of the ninth-grade academy, again designed as a separate school-within-a-school

  • Career Academies

    Grades 10–12, divided into teams, serving 130–150 students

  • Innovative Curriculum Instruction

    An academic 'catch-up' process provides students with the learning opportunities, motivation, and supports they need to overcome poor prior preparation and to successfully complete a core college prep curriculum

  • Teacher Support

    Year-round professional development is provided, both in classroom and in small-group, content-specific workshops

  • On-Site Facilitators and Curriculum Coaches

    Highly trained, on-site staff, consisting of an organizational facilitator and academic coaches work with participating schools to improve student academic performance and to create a safer school climate.

  • Extra Help for Students

    Summer School, Saturday School, after-hours Credit School, and an after-school alternative program (Twilight School), offer students additional services in a small-class environment with dedicated support staff.

Program Results

  • Improved Graduation Rates at Mansion and Edison HS
  • Increased course passage in core subjects among ninth grade students
  • Improved School Climate: Decreased suspensions
  • Increase in student attendance: More students have a 90%+ attendance record
  • Higher Test Scores: PSSA scores on the rise