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Meeting the Invention Challenge: A Background Paper for Participants in a National Convening

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A central challenge for education reformers today is how to promote the dramatic expansion of innovations that appear to be effective and scalable for students in danger of dropping out (and those who have dropped out) and how to encourage experimentation with new ways of preparing struggling students for whom effective models are few and largely untested. And, of course, to do so in ways that are affordable and sustainable.

On May 11-12, 2009, JFF convened a group of high school reformers who have been building new institutions and creating new mechanisms at the district, community, and state levels. This working conference, Meeting the Invention Challenge, brought together individuals who have dedicated their careers to the educational success of students who need very different environments and supports than traditional high schools if they are to stay in school and learn at the level required for college and career success.

This paper was produced by JFF as a background paper for these individuals prior to the convening.