Smaller Learning Communities
The U.S. Department of Education studied the implementation of its Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) discretionary grant program. The SLC program was established in response to growing national concerns about students too often lost and
alienated in large, impersonal high schools, as well as concerns about school safety and low levels of achievement and graduation for many students. The most prevalent structures were freshman and career academies. All but two schools reported undertaking efforts to increase personalization. SLC-related professional development, although provided by nearly all schools, was not very extensive. A common set of factors affecting academy implementation included strong school leadership, involved and supportive districts, high levels of staff buy-in, and sufficient space to make programs separate. Inhibiting factors included staff and administrative turnover, weak school leadership, prescriptive district oversight of SLC reforms, and limited resources on the part of the school.
United States Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy
Development. (2008). Implementation Study of Smaller Learning Communities: Final
Report. Washington, DC: Author.