Education A National Roundup

Gates Foundation Gives to H.S. Projects in L.A., Portland, Ore.

By Ann Bradley — November 08, 2005 1 min read

The Los Angeles Unified School District will work with three national organizations to restructure four high schools under a grant announced last week from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The schools will be overhauled with $7.4 million from the foundation and the help of the Institute for Research and Reform in Education, a nonprofit organization based in Toms River, N.J.; the Talent Development High School model from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; and Architects of Achievement, a Seattle-based group that provides expertise in designing small schools.

Superintendent Roy Romer noted in a statement that the changes are necessary because the district is increasing demands on students.

In June, the school board of the 730,000-student district voted to require the class of 2008 to complete the 15-course series required for admission to the University of California and California State University systems. But only 54 percent of students completed the courses last school year, the district said, and of those just 46 percent passed.

In cooperation with the Meyer Memorial Trust in Portland, Ore., the foundation also announced a $10.7 million initiative to improve high school performance and graduation rates in Oregon. Of that amount, the 47,000-student Portland district will receive $8.96 million over three years for high school work.

A version of this article appeared in the November 09, 2005 edition of Education Week