This report illustrates how nine high-performing, small urban high schools across the U.S. are thinking about and organizing resources strategically to best meet their students’ most pressing needs. Through interviews and reviews of class schedules, staffing strategies, budgets, and more, the report provides a detailed look at how leaders in these “Leading Edge Schools” carefully and purposefully think about how they use every staff member, each moment of the school day, and every dollar to support student learning.
We found that Leading Edge Schools deliberately create high-performing organizational structures, or Strategic Designs, that deliberately organize people, time, and money to advance their specific instructional models—the set of decisions the schools make about how they organize and deliver instruction. They create these Strategic Designs through four interconnected practices:
These nine detailed case studies of small urban high schools served as the foundation for ERS’ report Strategic Designs: Lessons from Leading Edge Small Urban High Schools.