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Closing the Gap: Enhancing Student Outcomes in an Urban Professional Development School

Publisher: Teacher Education and Special Education, 27 (3)
Page Numbers: 292-306

The purpose of this paper is to describe changes in student achievement at one urban elementary school involved in an eight-year partnership with a University. The school first became involved with the University through a research project designed to support the school's efforts at restructuring and then became a full-fledged Professional Development School (PDS). Students' scores on high-stakes assessment measures were the primary data sources. Individual interviews were also conducted to obtain teachers' and administrators' perceptions of the effects of the partnership on student achievement. Students' test scores increased over the years and were higher than the scores of students in comparable schools. Interviews revealed that teachers and administrators perceived that students benefited in academic, social/affective, and general domains. They attributed gains in student achievement to their partnership with the University.