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Communities Challenged to Boost Lowest-Performing Schools

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Community-based organizations, start your engines.

You have until June 29 to submit your plans to the Challenge.gov website about how you will work to improve the lowest-performing schools in America in the 2012-13 school year, or to showcase how your current plans are already doing so.

The Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge invites schools, national service programs, higher education institutions, and community-based organizations to work together to propel improvement of our lowest-performing schools.

Challenge participants are asked to:

  • Focus on the neediest schools.

  • Invest in the capacity to work together.

  • Align efforts to key student outcomes—the ABCs of attendance, behavior, course performance, and college access.

  • Celebrate and share success.

Plans can be submitted to catalyze new partnerships as well as spotlight and expand exemplary initiatives already working to raise student achievement and strengthen a community culture of educational success, according to the U.S. Department of Education's press release announcing the challenge.

Plans can encompass a single local community or a regional, state, or national effort with multiple sites. The challenge is not a new grant program, but rather an approach to better coordinate resources and efforts, including many through existing Education Department and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) programs.

The challenge rules are detailed here.

This summer, the Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge will be judged by a panel of staff at the Department of Education, CNCS, and the White House.

On Sept. 14, the winners will be announced.

All schools and communities that meet the criteria for the challenge will garner national recognition for their efforts and become part of the Together for Tomorrow learning network. Selected applications will also be invited to attend a special event in Washington.

To learn more about Together for Tomorrow, read a previous K-12 Parents & the Public post, National Initiative Seeks Community Partners to Improve U.S. Schools.

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