This section contains publications from centers/organizations that research best practices that lead to increased student achievement and improved preparation for post-secondary success.

The National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), in collaboration with its partners, strives to provide the most up-to-date, accessible information on breakthroughs in high school improvement, vetted best practices, hands-on technical assistance, and an easy-to-use navigation of the latest research on creating and maintaining excellent high schools. The National High School Center does not endorse any interventions nor does it conduct field studies. The National High School Center Web site is available at

The National High School Center is pleased to announce the release (August 8, 2008) of a suite of products that examine effective strategies to increase studentsí preparation for life following high school and support successful post-secondary pathways. The publications, authored by Michael Bangser and Thomas J. Smith of MDRC, a partner of the National High School Center, include:



Founded in 1948, the Southern Regional Education Board is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works with leaders and policy-makers in 16 member states to improve pre-K through postsecondary education. Through many nationally recognized programs and services, SREB’s mission is helping states achieve the 12 Challenge to Lead Goals for Education.

States Can Improve Career/Technical Education, SREB Report Says

Too many students leave high school unprepared for employment and post-secondary studies. High-quality career/technical education, combined with a college-preparatory academic core, can help improve student achievement so more students graduate college- and career-ready, says a major new SREB report. Released at a joint event with the Council of Chief State School Officers, Crafting a New Vision for High School: How States Can Join Academic and Technical Studies to Promote More Powerful Learning outlines actions states can take to boost student achievement and highlights best practices. See the report here.

Establishing an Effective Guidance and Advisement System

A good guidance and advisement system is the glue that connects various high school experiences together in a meaningful way for students. This newsletter addresses the most frequently asked questions High Schools That Work staff receive about adviser programs, such as: Why establish a guidance and advisement system? What is the role of the adviser? What are the goals of the adviser/advisee programs? What are the conditions for establishing an effective adviser/advisee program? (07V08w); free;5 pages; online only View this publication

National Career Development Association articles

Helping Students Cultivate Soft Skills By Aricia E. LaFrance... Schools do a good job of teaching reading, writing, science, math and other "hard" skills that are both essential and valuable to performing well on the job. However, once students enter the workforce, many come to career counseling because they are unable to find work or keep a job. What these career seekers often lack are soft skills.