national movement

Around the country, there is a growing movement to radically re-design high schools. Recently, a number of initiatives have popped up with the aim of re-designing high schools including:

  • The XQ Institute is in service of parents and pioneers, entrepreneurs and teachers, business leaders and administrators, youth and education experts—who are joining a movement to rethink America’s schools.
     
  • In May 2015, the Mayor of Boston launched a competition calling for new out-of-the-box models of high school. This accompanies the recent Innovation Schools Initiative launched by the state of Massachusetts to spur new school models.
     
  • In November 2015, the White House held a summit on Next Generation High Schools.
     
  • Most Likely to Succeed, a documentary about a next generation HS in San Diego, has won acclaim at documentary film festivals and sold out with audiences around the country.

 

Released summer 2015, this book

MOvement amongst educators and authors

There is a concerted effort led by educators and authors calling for more sane, healthy high schools that redefine success.  A movement for high schools that values both academic achievement and that incorporates social and emotional health and skills.  There is a movement of educators to redefine success, and to create high school experiences that are healthy and rewarding for students.

This movement has gained particular steam in high-achieving districts like Palo Alto where students suffer disproportionately from mental health issues and have even seen several suicides clusters in the past several years. A host of books has come out in the past few years calling for a change to our overloaded students:

 

Inspirational school models

  • Deeper Learning Network is a collection of over 500 traditional and public schools including ten different school networks that are helping to lead the way in terms of high school innovation.
     
  • In the independent school area, the Nueva School is creating a new model and Riverdale High School in NYC and University High School in San Francisco are making waves with mentoring programs and purpose learning programs that focus on developing a students’ sense of interiority and purpose

 

further reading

  • The three words most used by high school students to describe their school experience are:  tired, stressed, and bored. This is according to a poll that surveyed 22,000 high school students published last year and reported in USA Today.
     
  • This is a great article capturing the magnitude of the dysfunction of our current high school model by Temple University professor and leading adolescent development expert Laurence Steinberg published on slate.com.
     
  • This article in the New Republic captures the remarkable amount of boredom encountered by young people at our high schools. Great lens into a typical day at a high school. Well-reported.
     
  • This is a powerful article about a veteran teacher who shadows a student at his high school for two days – and it changes his whole outlook on what it means to be a high school student and the need for radically changing how students learn.

 

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