High School Accelerator
Nice editorial in today’s Detroit News about a new high school initiative we are about to launch. We have been calling it a metro Detroit high school accelerator. Its mission is to create over the next eight years thirty five new small high quality high schools in Detroit and its inner ring suburbs. The first phase will involve starting eleven new high schools over the next four years.
Its initial funding will come from local foundations. Commitments have already been made by the Kellogg Foundation, the Skillman Foundation and the McGregor Fund.
There are three principles that are rather unique to this initiative:
1. We don’t care about the form of governance. All the ideological wars between public, charter and private school advocates are irrelevant to us. We will work with any school as long as it has a high likelihood that it will prepare all its students for college.
2. We don’t care about where the school is located. It must be open to students from the city of Detroit, but the schools we will support do not have to be located in the city.
3. We will only work with new schools. We think new schools have a far better chance of creating the kind of culture and teaching and learning environment that lead to high student achievement than trying to transform failing schools.
Look for more details on the accelerator and its first schools by the end of the year. All of us who have been involved in designing it are really excited about its possibilities to make a big difference. We are aiming for nothing less than creating an alternative high quality system of high schools that will compete with low quality high schools no matter who operates them!
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This sounds really interesting, I am looking forward to hearing more about the project. Is your project focused on designing innovative pedagogy/curriculum, providing funding for others to implement their own innovations, or all of the above?
Still working on the details. But the plan at the moment is to solicit proposals for new high quality high schools, select the best, provide technical assistance to the founder and/or principal on how best to get good student achievement. We will have some curriculum and pedagogy must haves. But are not wedded to a particular model. We will also provide the selected schools with a grant starting the year before the school opens and running through when it reached full enrollment.
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