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Postupac, Robert Hayes (2011) PROJECT 720: A CASE STUDY OF HIGH SCHOOL REFORM. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine a major Pennsylvania high school reform initiative: Project 720. Through document review and interviews, the author found that Pennsylvania allocated $40 million to 143 school districts in an attempt to transform Pennsylvania high schools into child-centered, small learning communities focused on 21st Century learning skills. This study examined the design, implementation, and sustainability of Project 720. This study posed three research questions: (1) What events led to the development of Project 720? (2) How was Project 720 implemented? (3) What is the status of Project 702?The focus for Pennsylvania's high school reform began during the 2005 National Governors' Association conference. The agenda for the conference was a need for high school reform. Along with the nation's governors, the nation's business leaders represented by the National Business Roundtable and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identified a need for high school reform. As a result of this conference Pennsylvania developed Project 720. Project 720 focused on several factors, those being; (1) poor performance on standardized tests, (2) lack of rigor in the high school curriculum, (3) lack of career preparation, and (4) concern regarding the rate of students not completing high school in four years.Implementation of Project 720 was difficult to determine. Lacking available documents, there continues to be an ambiguity regarding how Project 720 funds were allocated. This confusing allocation of funds coupled with a lack of information regarding an auditing procedure of grantee funds left the investigator to speculate how allocated funds were used for Project 720. This study concluded that there are very few formal reports regarding the sustained efforts of Project 720. Pennsylvania's 2011 proposed budget contains no funding for Project 720, or any other identified high school reform effort. Therefore, it is crucial that Project 720 funded school districts build capacity to sustain high school reform. The value of $40 million of Pennsylvania State grants depends on how well Project 720 districts implemented activities that improved education and how well districts ensured funding to sustain those implemented activities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Postupac, Robert
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.eduMMKERR
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberCopeland,
Committee MemberHughes, Seanshughes@pitt.eduSHUGHES
Date: 13 May 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 1 April 2011
Approval Date: 13 May 2011
Submission Date: 13 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pennsylvania High School Reform; School Reform; High School Reform; Project 720
Other ID:, etd-04132011-160633
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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