Shared by Whitney Tilson of Democrats for Education Reform is a short, but hard, list of what it takes to have a successful inner city school, from David Whitman’s Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism):
1. Tell students exactly how to behave and tolerate no disorder
2. Require a rigorous, college-prep curriculum.
3. Align curriculum with state standards and specify performance outcomes.
4. Assess students regularly and use the results to target struggling students.
5. Keep students busy in class with a clear plan and a variety of assignments.
6. Build a collective culture of achievement and college-going.
7. Reject the culture of the streets.
8. Be vigilant about maintaining school culture.
9. Extend the school day and/or year.
10. Monitor and enforce attendance.
11. Welcome accountability for adults and embrace constant reassessment.
12. Give principals and teachers more autonomy — think “charter school.”
13. Eliminate (or at least disempower) local teacher unions.
14. Use unconventional channels to recruit committed teachers.
15. Don’t demand much from parents.
16. Escape the constraints hobbling traditional district schools.
17. Don’t waste resources on fancy facilities or technology.
18. Keep the school small.
19. Track and support students after they graduate.
20. Help create additional schools following your model.