September 10, 2005

A New Type of High School

Recommendations for middle colleges or the more recent term, early college high schools, appear with regularity nowadays. Such programs combine high school with college so that a student earns a two year degree Laboratory.jpg simultaneously with a high school diploma. An excellent 2005 report, "Early College High School: Integrating Grades 9 through 15" by Jobs for the Future describes an initiative sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. With $50 million, these organizations are funding the establishment of 100 such new schools. For example, Stark Community College is preparing to establish the program in partnership with local schools. Jobs for the Future provides numerous references to the topic. Often, the programs are directed at high need students. Bard High School Early College in a New York City serves 9th and 10th graders who then take college classes at the high school and earn an associate degree rather than high school graduation--a form of an institutional bypass! Education Week has an excellent article, "College-Based High Schools Fill a Growing Need."

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2005

New Schools to Bypass Traditional High Schools

Jobs for the Future will open schools that accelerate high school and college by compressing grades. Early College High Schools are small schools from which students leave with not only a high school diploma but also an Associate's degree or two years of college credit toward a Bachelor's degree. Several foundations will provide major funding for the creation or redesign of 70 Early College High Schools in the next five years for underserved and low-income young people.


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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:01 PM

December 11, 2004

Changing High School

Because high schools have been so resistant to change, educational choices have expanded enormously. Why can't high schools change? A provocative essay, "The Blind Men and the High School" descibes six strategies to change school. Each states a strategy, problem definition and theory of action. Here is one of the stategies as an example:

Strategy: Devise new institutional forms for secondary education: "Early college" high schools, small high schools, schools-within-schools, charter schools, "KIPP" high schools, virtual high schools. Much has been said and done on this front, and the innovations take many shapes, as do the choice schemes whereby young people and their parents can access the version that works best for them.

Problem definition: The circa-1950s, one-size-fits-all, "comprehensive high school" is dysfunctional and off-putting for many, besides being an inefficient, out-moded vehicle for teaching them what they need to learn.

Theory of action: Create new options for delivering and receiving secondary education, using technology, modern organizational theory, out-sourcing and the like, then give young people choices.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 02:29 PM