Improving Achievement and Closing Gaps in Urban Schools- This strand seeks proposals about research-based practices and interventions that are having an impact on learning in the core content areas, systemic levers that accelerate academic performance, effectiveness of accountability systems, and practices that can close the significant achievement gaps existing along racial, ethnic, gender, and economic lines.
Urban School Professional Development- Proposals submitted under this strand might address how different approaches to the recruitment, preparation, induction, and retention of qualified teachers, principals, and school site leaders have impacted student achievement. Of particular interest are proposals addressing methods for evaluating the effectiveness of professional development and individual teachers on student achievement.
Urban School Finance- Among the key issues that might be addressed in this strand are managing finances to deal with federal, state and local budget cuts, equitable distribution of funding, cost beneficial ways to allocate district resources to boost student achievement, and meeting special education costs.
Urban School Leadership and Governance- Critical topics that proposals in this strand might address are the recruitment and preparation of personnel for leadership roles, expanding the capacity of building leadership, role of board members, community relationships, and models of effective urban governance and management systems.
Bilingual Programs in Urban Schools- Proposals in this strand might include programs that successfully improve student achievement, especially for recent immigrants, older students and long-term ELLs, comprehensive assessment strategies, and the development of curriculum that impact ELL student achievement.
Special Education Programs in Urban Schools- Proposals in this strand might include programs that successfully improve student achievement, especially for students with mental, emotional and physical disabilities, comprehensive assessment strategies, and the development of curriculum that impact special education student achievement.