Encompassing Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the New England Secondary School Consortium is a regional partnership aimed at transforming high schools for the 21st century. This consortium will ensure that the academic performance and educational attainment of every student in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont will be competitive with their peers worldwide. The Consortium has set five ambitious and specific goals, including: increasing the graduation rate to 90 percent; decreasing the drop-out rate to less than one percent; increasing the percentage of students who enroll in a two- or four-year college to 80 percent; reducing the need for college developmental/remedial courses to 5 percent; and ensuring that more students who enter college graduate from college.
The NESSC goals are consistent with high school redesign efforts in the State and the Department's commitment to ensure every student will graduate with the knowledge and the skills needed to be successful in college and careers of the 21st century. Whether they decide to start their careers after they graduate or continue their education beyond high school all students deserve a rigorous secondary education that prepares them for post-secondary education and meaningful careers. Graduating competent students not only benefits our society, but also better prepares students for future careers and citizenship. We see this collaboration as a way to create a system that can build the capacity of all our administrators and teachers to better identify and address the learning needs of individual students. The collaboration with the NESSC will also assume greater transferability for students and teachers across New England.
The New England Secondary School Consortium has released the publication of Global Best Practices: An Internationally Benchmarked Self-Assessment Tool for Secondary Learning, a practical, action-oriented self-assessment tool for secondary schools. The tool grew out of a recognition that national borders no longer define the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that students need for success, and that New England’s high schools may need assistance reviewing learning standards, organizational structures, leadership models, teaching strategies, professional development, and student outcomes in relation to research on high-performing educational systems and research-based practices. Global Best Practices offers schools a practical, step-by-step process they can follow to assess their relative performance in critical areas and shape their school-improvement plans.
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