DPS and two other districts were chosen from 14,000 districts nationwide.
“Good schools, schools that provide real educational opportunity, have a clear focus on teaching and learning. In good schools, skilled teachers and effective administrators agree on strategies, structures, practices, schedules, and resource sharing plans,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Real opportunities for students grow when the whole educational system keeps its eye on the prize.”
Governor Beverly Perdue joined education officials in Durham Tuesday for the announcement.
Durham schools made headlines last year when it announced the number of students dropping out of school decreased nearly 14 percent during the 2007-08 academic year. It was the system's largest decrease in seven years.
DPS has also slashed its overall achievement gap by about a third over the last decade. Money from the grant announced Tuesday will be used to improve achievement rates for low income and minority students, while raising performance for all students over the next five years.
“Our focus on academic achievement of African American boys, was driven by careful analysis of district data, and is supplemented by a greater strategy to gain higher achievement for all students by increasing teacher collaboration, instructional leadership, and reflective practice,” said Kristy Moore, President of the Durham Association of Educators.