Rule numer one for schools: When you hear about a succesful school (like the PS 428 in Baltimore), contact that school directly and ask them about what they're doing. Its always best to get your info from the admin/teachers/students that are involved directly in successful projets.
That said, from my perspective it takes a great deal of work and committment on the part of all involved to make education a success.
Structuring an environment that places a priority on learning comes first. The biggest issue for many areas is you'll have a few really great teachers/classes, but the whole school (and especially the school/district administration) doesn't buy into anything except the need to prove performance through testing.
Where I've seen the greatest success with teens is in environments where learning is student-centered and flexible. Split shift programs, where students come for just morning, just afternoon, or just evening classes really work. This means there's a higher likelihood that another family member can take care of their children; and it makes work schedules much easier to handle (so many of these students HAVE to work to survive). When schedules are kept to a strict 7:45-2:45 (day) schedule, the likelihood that teens with children can attend enough classes to complete a course, let alone a full high school program, decreases tremendously. This does NOT mean shifting kiddos off to your "alternative" center, either. This means restructuring regular campuses (one or more) within the districts.
Many of the schools in my service are with the most at risk populations also encourage the teachers to go to the students/parents at home. We make all kinds of assumptions about why parents don't come in--but do we really know why? No. Home visits are encouraged--though I'll add that teachers don't go out alone, always in pairs.
Involving your local health/human services agency and workforce/employment agency in the school also helps. This increases the likelihood that students will have access to the information they need to gain support services that help them stay in school.
Peer to peer counseling is also encouraged. Schools that set up committees of teens to review and adjudicate issues related to their peers, that appoint teens as peer counselors, and heavily involve the teens in every part of the educational process are more successful. Find those one, two or three teens in the school that have been successful and ask them to be leaders in the school.
Also, administration needs to be 100 percent clear on expectations--and these expectations need to make sense. Kids understand a lot more than we give them credit for. If they feel the ONLY reason admin is pushing academics is because of testing/finance issues (they read the papers, they watch the news, they know about the links between money and performance), then they're going to blow you off. Admin./teachers have to find a way to make education personally important to kids. "What's in it for me?" plays a big part in the performance issue.
Its going to boil down to really getting to know your population, involving them in the educational process, clearly defining expectations, making outcomes real for students (what's in it for me), providing information/access to support services to keep kids in school, being flexible, and committing resources (time/effort) to students outside the classroom.
Getting admin to buy into the importance of change and getting teachers to be involved with their students lives outside of class/campus is usually the biggest hurdle in the process. I wish you luck!