The Annenberg Foundation has been so pleased with what's happening in the BASRC schools that it has awarded them $40 million in new grants for five more years.
This means Lynn Gurnee will continue as her school's literacy coordinator, a position funded by BASRC.
BASRC received $25 million from the Annenberg Foundation in 1995 and is one of only three sites to have received a subsequent grant from them.
Between 1996 and 2001, BASRC awarded grants to 87 "Leadership Schools" and assisted them to undertake a data-based process to improve teaching and student achievement.
The Bay Area's largest reform grant was $50 million, also given to BASRC, by those same two foundations six years ago.
BASRC will give much of the $40 million to small groups of k-12 public schools working with school districts and/or supporting organizations, enabling them to engage in an "inquiry-based, data-driven approach to school reform.
While overall, BASRC elementaries achieved 37 percent higher average gains, Leadership high schools posted only slightly better gains.
About one-fourth of BASRC Leadership Schools posted gains at more than double the average SAT-9 gains of non-BASRC Bay Area schools: 27 percent of high schools, 18 percent of middle schools, and 25 percent of elementary schools.
Last spring, BASRC
reported that 18 of its grant-funded Leadership schools had hiked student achievement, even though only 14 were expected to do so in 1998-9.
Any business that saw high attrition in one key job category would quickly ask why," commented BASRC
executive director Merrill Vargo.
Although most BASRC
schools are paired with other schools and work together to solve similar problems, the Partners in Literacy group is unusual in that it includes five schools located in three different school districts.
More than 193 teachers and principals from 60 Hewlett-Annenberg leadership schools have attended full-day workshops on critical friendship in the past two weeks, and BASRC
has grouped all 87 of the leadership schools it has funded into 17 critical friends "clusters" of two to five schools each.