Diplomas Now -Talent Development Secondary

At a Glance

National Office: 
2701 N Charles St Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: 410-516-8800

Robert Balfanz
People Served: 
45,000
Year Founded: 
1994
Tax ID: 
52-0595110

Focus area(s):

Teacher & Principal Training
K-12 Reform
Reading/Math

See These Reports For More Information

Description

Talent Development Secondary is a school reform model developed by Johns Hopkins University that focuses on providing students, teachers, and school leadership with the supports needed to ensure that every child graduates from high school ready for post-secondary success. Talent Development Secondary currently works with over 40,000 students as part of our work with the I3-award winning Diplomas Now initiative.

Impact and Outcomes

In Diplomas Now schools, Talent Development Secondary helped cut attendance and behavior problems in half, and decreased course failure by up to 75 percent on average across our schools, putting more students on track to graduate.
Third party evaluations have shown that "Talent Development Secondary "produced substantial gains in attendance, academic course credits earned, and promotion rates during students’ first year of high school." (Kemple et al, 2005)

Mission & Goals

Talent Development Secondary envisions widespread transformation of our nation’s secondary schools into respectful, caring, and motivating learning communities that challenge all students, and our mission is to develop and implement effective solutions for improving academic performance and increasing college and career readiness in middle and high schools that will result in increased graduation rates.

Program

Talent Development Secondary Core Program Elements

The Talent Development Secondary/ Diplomas Now model is built around four interrelated pillars for change and grounded in fundamental principles of organization of school time and space. The four pillars are:
 
  1. Teacher teams and small learning communities organized to provide intensive, personalized attention to students and their needs.
  2. Challenging, accelerated curriculum and instructional strategies, and the professional development to enable teachers to implement them successfully.  
  3. Tired student supports, based on rigorous data collection and Early Warning Indicator (EWI) meetings that enable adults in the building to provide the right interventions at the right time
  4. A can‐do school culture and climate focused on student achievement and success, both academically and socially.
 
The structural principles that enable these four key elements to function successfully are distributed leadership within the school, extended learning periods for core academic subjects (75‐ to 90‐minute periods in middle schools; 4x4 90‐minute block scheduling in high schools); and common planning time for teacher teams.

Impact

Internal results indicate that the Diplomas Now model cut attendance and behavior problems in half, and decreased course failure by up to 75 percent on average across its schools, thus putting more students on track to graduate. In MDRC’s initial evaluation of Diplomas Now, researchers found that:

  • The Diplomas Now model produced a positive and statistically significant impact on the percentage of students with no early warning indicators — students with better than 85 percent attendance, fewer than three days suspended or expelled, and passing grades in both English/language arts and math. Helping students maintain or reach these thresholds is an explicit target of Diplomas Now school teams. 

Source:Corrin, W., Sepanik, S., Rosen, R., and Shane, A. (2016) Addressing Early Warning Indicators

  • Interim Impact Findings from the Investing In Innovation (i3) evaluation of Diplomas Now Third party evaluations have recently found that Diplomas Now produced a positive and statistically significant impact on the percentage of students with no early warning indicators (attendance, behavior, and course passage). (Corrin et al, 2016)
  • Third party evaluations have shown that "Talent Development Secondary "produced substantial gains in attendance, academic course credits earned, and promotion rates during students’ first year of high school." (Kemple et al, 2005)

In MDRC's evaluation of Talent Development's work in Philadelphia high schools, researchers noted:

  • Talent Development produced substantial gains in attendance, academic course credits earned, and promotion rates during students’ first year of high school. These impacts emerged in the first year of implementation and were reproduced as the model was extended to other schools in the district and as subsequent cohorts of students entered the ninth grade.
  • Talent Development’s strong positive impacts during the first year of high school are consistent with the model’s intensive initial focus on the ninth grade and its emphasis on combining high-quality curricular and instructional enhancements (including offering transitional math and English courses, creating teaching teams, and providing ongoing coaching for teachers) with pervasive structural reforms (including developing small learning communities and using extended class periods) aimed at building supportive and personalized learning environments.
  • The improvements in credits earned and promotion rates for ninth graders were sustained as students moved through high school. Improvements in student performance on the eleventh-grade state standards assessment began to emerge for later cohorts. There are also early indications that Talent Development is improving graduation rates. 

Source: Kemple, J., Herlihy, C., & Smith, T. (2005). Making progress toward graduation: Evidence from the Talent Development High School model. New York: MDRC.

Growth Plan

Talent Development Secondary is in the final year of a significant growth strategy to provide support in 10-12 key markets across the United States and establish a strong local presence in order to provide high level services to schools and districts.  

  • With the recruitment of schools as part of the Diplomas Now i3 funded implementation and evaluation, TDS has grown to service more than 50 schools in direct service across the country in the 2015-16 school year.
  • Over the next two years, TDS aims to build a foundation and grow within each market in order support feeder patterns of students through the 6-12 continuum and be a district partner for sharing practices more broadly. 

Talent Development Secondary believes that this approach will ensure that our organization is having a direct impact on graduation and dropout rates in 10-12 of America’s largest cities, providing an evidence base that will influence secondary education policy at a scope and scale far beyond what our direct work could accomplish, and will allow Talent Development Secondary to remain fiscally sustainable in a new, locally focused service model without sacrificing its core values, culture, or strategies.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
2701 N Charles St Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: 410-516-8800
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

California

Colorado

District Of Columbia

Florida

Guam

Hawaii

Illinois

Louisiana

Massachusetts

Maryland

Michigan

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Texas

Virginia

Washington

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2015

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$1,823,010
Foundation Grants: 
$6,824,450
Government Funding: 
$801,290
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$4,022,438
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$13,471,188

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$8,714,024
Occupancy: 
$16,378
Travel & Entertainment: 
$823,374
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$779,737
Telephone & Communications: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$3,137,675
Other Expenses (Description): 

$2,320,517 - Subawards to partner organizations

$817,158 - Other

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$13,471,188

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$0

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2014

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$6,463,202
Government Funding: 
$89,771
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$5,228,629
Other Revenue: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$11,781,602

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$9,489,963
Occupancy: 
$361,479
Travel & Entertainment: 
$742,480
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$814,917
Telephone & Communication: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$372,763
Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$11,781,602

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$0

Major Funders

AT&T Aspire – Philadelphia, PA

Capital Area United Way – East Baton Rouge, LA

Carnegie Corporation of New York – New York, NY

Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation – Tulsa, OK

Charles Steward Mott Foundation

College Spark – Seattle, WA

Guam Department of Education – Guam

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation – New York, NY

Ford Foundation

Fund for Shared Insight

George P. Kaiser Family Foundation – Tulsa, OK

Kenan Foundation

Ingram White Castle Foundation – Columbus, OH

Laura and John Arnold Foundation – Harrisburg, PA

Miami Children’s Trust Fund -  Miami, FL

Pepsico Foundation – New York, NY

Skillman Foundation – Detroit, MI

The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Children’s Trust – Miami, FL

United Way of the Capital Area in  Baton Rouge – East  Baton Rouge, LA

US Department of Education – Washington, D.C.

Valley of the Sun United Way – Phoenix, AZ