A new report released March 24 by the Learning First Alliance suggests that high-poverty school districts can raise student achievement by focusing on districtwide strategies to improve instruction. Titled "Beyond Islands of Excellence: What Districts Can Do to Improve Instruction and Achievement in All Schools," the report outlines lessons learned from a study of five districts in particular and identifies practical steps that other districts can take to move beyond a few excellent schools to success across entire systems. The five districts studied—Aldine, Texas; Chula Vista, Calif.; Kent County, Md.; Minneapolis; and Providence, R.I.—were selected based...

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