The Five School Study: Restructuring Philadelphia Comprehensive High Schools assessed the long-term, district-wide effort to restructure Philadelphia’s comprehensive high schools. It examined two strategies central to the overall reform effort: the creation of small learning communities inside high schools and the movement to shared decision making and school-based management with parents, students, administrators, teachers, and community members as active participants. This study identified three essential tasks–building community, reinventing curriculum, and generating knowledge about change–which small learning communities must take up in order to become intimate and rigorous learning communities.
A study of restructuring efforts implemented in Philadelphia’s comprehensive high schools from 1988 to 1995 as part of the Philadelphia Schools Collaborative funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. These efforts focused on two principal components:…