New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) recently received its second five-year VPSC grant to expand its robust public school choice program--specifically targeting students attending Title I schools in need of improvement in the New Haven metropolitan area.
There are many choice options in New Haven, including "Project Choice," an urban-suburban transfer program involving 16 school districts; "Suburban Interdistrict Magnets," which offer high-quality curriculum with a range of themes and teaching philosophies; "Lighthouse Schools," neighborhood elementary (mainly K-8) schools started under the first VPSC grant that provide a themed approach and an emphasis on strengthening literacy instruction; and charter schools, including the high-performing Amistad Academy and Elm City College Preparatory School.
A key innovation is the NHPS Lighthouse Schools' concept created under the first VPSC grant cycle.
It's a very creative environment." Local VPSC program evaluator David Kikoler poses with Bob Canelli, project director for New Haven's VPSC grant program.
They are a real success story." Evaluations indicate that students who transfer under VPSC have tended to outperform those remaining in lower-performing schools, regardless of the students' ethnicity, gender, or access to supplemental education services.