Providence High School Works to Reform Itself

april 9, 2004  12:17 pm
In 1999, when Debra DeCarlo became principal of a Providence, R.I., high school, she was faced with problems common to many urban school districts. State and local budget cuts had reduced or completely eliminated resources once deemed essential. Confused curriculum standards made it daunting for teachers to create lesson plans. Truancy and disciplinary problems turned class time into a discouraging, even life-threatening experience. There were more dropouts than graduates. The building itself was coming apart. It still is. Marion Davis reports for The Providence Phoenix on how educators like DeCarlo are addressing such challenges by taking chances and making a difference, not so much in test scores, but in how their students feel about learning.