Public television has produced a program called "Closing the Achievement Gap" that those interested in high school dropouts may find to be of interest. The program follows the progress of the students at Amistad Academy, a school in New Haven, CT that "was founded with a clear goal in mind: to build an academic environment that would let students from New Haven's economically disadvantaged backgrounds close the persistent gap in academic achievement with their white, suburban counterparts."
There is a website for "Closing the Achievement Gap" that documents different aspects of the debate over charter schools like Amistad. Included on the site are discussions about general models of success when it comes to charter schools, Amistad as a model, and the recipe for success at Amistad. The results achieved at Amistad have been remarkable as the student scores on standardized testing (in this case, the Connecticut Mastery Test) have increased - even as average scores across the state have decreased.
As a result of their success, some of the leaders at Amistad Academy have started an organization called Achievement First that is looking to create a system of charter schools across Connecticut and New York with the goal of achieving the same success Amistad Academy did in bridging the achievement gap. The Achievement First site is interesting in its own right with a page titled "12 Lessons about School Reform" that speaks generally to what schools can do to replicate the success of Amistad Academy.
By the way, the website for "Closing the Achievement Gap" has a search engine that allows users to see whether the program will play in their area within the coming two weeks. I could not find a major metropolitan PBS station playing the program in my area for the coming weeks so it may no longer be airing. Those interested can always purchase the program on VHS or DVD at the PBS store for $25.