The Battle of City Springs Epilogue tells the story of a school in a high-poverty area of a large U.S. city that experienced years of failure before implementing the full immersion model of Direct Instruction (DI). Until Baltimore's City Springs Elementary started implementing the full immersion model of Direct Instruction in 1996, the school was considered to be the epitome of failure. Over 90 percent of the students were (and still are) eligible for free or reduced lunch. Academic performance was at sub-basement levels. No students in the 3rd grade or the 5th grade passed the Maryland state test, the MSPAP, in either mathematics or writing. The Abell Foundation rated City Springs as the 2nd lowest-performing school in the city of Baltimore.
School climate was just as poor. Students ran the halls, and teachers locked the classroom doors in order to control them...and keep others out! The 2000 PBS documentary, "The Battle of City Springs," captured the difficulty of transforming the school during the second year of implementing DI, 1997-1998.
After six years of implementing the full immersion of DI with students from the National Institute for Direct Instruction, the school became the epitome of success. The halls are clean and orderly. Students are well-behaved. Most important, student performance is dramatically improved.
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