ATLAS Communities Project
The ATLAS Communities is a joint project of the Coalition for Essential Schools, the Educational Development Center, the Comer School Development Program, and Project Zero at Harvard University, employing several of the ideas of all the participants, such as school as community, equitable opportunity, and multiple intelligences and pathways. The site links to descriptions not only of individual schools and districts involved, but to the general climate of the city in which they belong, an interview with Ted Sizer of CES, links to eight sites, thematic curricular units used with individual classrooms in the project, and a convenient form to use to make suggestions about future directions the program might pursue.
Benedum Collaborative Professional Development Schools
The Benedum Collaborative Professional Development Schools, sponsored by the West Viginia University College of Human Resources and Education and funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Pittsburgh-based Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, is a collaborative education reform effort which includes a professional development school initiative. Links are provided to information on the project's purpose, goals, and participants, and a link to the Morgantown (WV) High School homepage (PDS site).
The Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships
The Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University was established in 1990 with OERI support. The center conducts and disseminates research and policy analyses, as well as distributing classroom materials and videos designed to increase understanding of partnerships. It is a part of the National Network of Partnership 2000 schools (to which it links). Based on Epsteins' framework of six types of involvement (a link provides much more information), the Center encourages the action team approach, decentralizing and de-emphasizing the Center's role in direct program management. Well-designed and so full of information it can be overwhelming, the site links to membership, school districts, contact information, order information for Center publications (though no direct order link), a Q & A section and a sample newsletter article.
The Coalition of Essential Schools
The Coalition of Essential Scools, now a group of 1,000 more or less autonomous schools nationwide, with 24 regional centers, adheres to the principles set forth by Ted Sizer, which grew out of the NASSP's _A Study of High Schools_. This informative, dense site provides links to background information, projects, members, regional centers, and participating schools.
Comer School Development Program
This award-winning and exhaustive site is the web home of the prestigious Comer Program, which has been involved in systemic school reform efforts since 1968, most currently with the ATLAS Communities (see below). James P. Comer, of the Yalke Child Study Center, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, emphasizes multiple pathways of student learning, the school as community, parental and community involvement, and encouragement of diversity and justice in educational opportunity. This site links to a dazzling variety of sites and information: staff biographies and e-mail links, the history and mission of the program, regional centers, full-text publications, Yale and the Yale Child Study Center, school districts, professional development centers, and the AERA School Climate Special Interest Group site.
Project Advance, initiated in 1972, is "one of the largest and oldest school partnership programs in the United States," offering qualified high school seniors the opportunity to enroll in university courses taught by high school instructors on the Syracuse University campus. The homepage is geared to prospective students and their parents, linking to lists, short biographies, and direct e-mail links to faculty and staff, course descriptions and syllabus information, an FAQ section and an online magazine of student writing coming out of the program. The site is updated frequently, and an e-mail form to provide feedback on the site itself is provided.
"Reforms in Preservice Preparation Programs and Teacher Certification Standards."
A May 1996 article from the Department of Education newsletter "Improving America's Schools: Newsletter on Issues in School Reform" is provided at this site. Although not about a specific program, the article provides a good overview of approaches to professional development schools, their research underpinnings, examples of programs, and links to other Education Department resources.
The Research Triangle Professional Development Schools Partnership
This University of North Carolina program aims to restructure public school curriculum, and to encourage, conduct and disseminate school-based research and improve teacher preparation by involving schools, parents and the business community in its initiatives. These include placement and training of preservice teachers, providing support groups to ease the transition of first year teachers, and collaboration with LEARN NC, a North Carolina computer network disseminating professional development information. This well-organized site links to descriptions or websites of its five sites and other Professional Development Schools sites, and the UNC School of Education homepage.
Talent Development Schools
The Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk, co-directed by Robert E. Slavin of Johns Hopkins University and A. Wade Boykin at Howard University, sponsors two "talent development schools" using a ninth grade academy, block scheduling and the concept of multiple pathways to transform schooling for at-risk students. The website is organized as two long documents with internal links leading the reader through the documents, each focusing on one of the schools participating, one a Baltimore high school and the other a Philadelphia middle school. Early statistics on the effect of the program and a list of references are provided.