The Ford Foundation is allotting $100 million for a seven-year research initiative designed to “transform” urban high schools in seven American cities: Los Angeles, New York, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and Denver. What exactly does “transform” mean? The four primary categories of research being funded are “teacher quality, student assessment, a longer school day and year, and school funding,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The initiatives will piggyback on many Obama education reform policies, such as helping L.A. nail a “Promise Neighborhood” grant, but some of the new program’s principles oppose the administration’s thinking, calling standardized tests “a blunt and inadequate tool” and announcing the need for “more meaningful methods of assessment and accountability.” Ford Foundation President Luis Ubiñas said he hopes the program will “shake up the conversations surrounding school reform and help spur some truly imaginative thinking and partnerships." Hear, hear.