The Accelerated Schools PLUS Project at UNLV was started in August 1991. The project is located in the Teaching and Learning Department in the College of Education at the university. Currently, the project serves 8 schools in Nevada and Arizona.
Dr. Henry Levin conceived, founded, and developed the Accelerated Schools Project at Stanford University in 1986 to address the questions and challenges presented in the 1983 report, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (United States Department of Education, 1983).
The Accelerated Schools Project is a comprehensive approach to school change, designed to improve schooling for children in at-risk situations. During his research, Dr. Levin was perplexed by the practice of remediation of certain students. Though the practice of remediation is intended to allow students to catch up to their peers, research finds that remediation actually causes students to fall farther and farther behind the mainstream.
Struck by the inequity of this system, he proposed a new kind of school where staff, parents, students, district office representatives, and local community members would work together to accelerate learning by providing all students with the challenging activities that have traditionally been reserved for students identified as gifted and talented. His viewpoint was that children caught in at-risk situations have exactly the same characteristics and potential of all children, including curiosity, desire to learn, imagination, and the need for support and affirmation. Consequently, Accelerated Schools are designed to bring all students into the educational mainstream by on their natural strengths, and by having consistently high expectations for them, regardless of their background. Accelerated Schools hold high expectations for every student, and provide each student with powerful learning experiences.
Since its inception in 1986, Accelerated Schools have reached over 1,500 elementary, middle, and high schools.