The Challenge Cities

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Grants to large urban districts account for about $285.6 million of the $484.5 million in Annenberg Challenge grants awarded so far. Here is a brief summary of the sites and their focuses:

  • Bay Area School Reform Collaborative: Spans 118 school districts in eight counties in the San Francisco Bay area. Has two main goals: to support a group of 100 to 200 "leadership'' schools and to create a formal learning collaborative of area schools, districts, and support organizations. $25 million from the Annenberg Challenge; $25 million from the Hewlett Foundation.
  • Chicago Annenberg Challenge: Supports networks of three or more schools and an external partner. Efforts focus on three objectives: smaller schools and classes, reduced isolation for teachers and schools, and better use of time. $49.2 million.
  • Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project: Includes the Los Angeles Unified School District and the 81 districts in Los Angeles County. Seeks to create stable learning environments for students. High schools and their feeder elementary and middle schools are encouraged to form "families'' that collaborate to implement the project's goals and principles. $53 million.
  • New York City Networks for School Renewal: Includes four sponsoring organizations: ACORN (New York Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), the Center for Collaborative Education, the Center for Educational Innovation, and New Visions for Public Schools. Focuses on creating small public schools, where authority and accountability rest with those closest to students. Voluntary networks of three to eight schools work in collaboration with their sponsoring organization. $25 million.
  • Philadelphia Children Achieving Challenge: Built around Superintendent David W. Hornbeck's 10-point reform plan, which promotes standards and assessments, a new accountability system, professional development for educators, school-to-career needs, and school readiness. The plan calls for the creation of small learning communities within each school. The district also has been reorganized into clusters of elementary, middle, and high schools. $50 million.
  • In late 1996, the challenge also announced a second round of large urban grants to Boston ($10 million), Detroit ($20 million), Houston ($20 million), and three counties in southeast Florida ($33.4 million).

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