How to instill an entrepreneurial mindset district-wide

As the superintendent of a large urban high school district, I have the opportunity to help identify and implement innovative programs that help prepare our students for success.

In my seven years leading East Side Union (CA) High School District (ESUHSD), I’ve watched our schools empower students to transform their lives and thrive in a global society. We’ve seen impressive growth, and a big element of our success is due to the partnerships we have forged. We’ve collaborated successfully with curriculum partners who are demonstrably aligned with our district goals and sensitive to the challenges teachers face in the classroom. Most importantly, we’ve sought out partners who offer evidence-based, research-backed programs with proven impact.

In 2016, ESUHSD adopted a renewed focus on Career and Technical Education (CTE), centered on the kind of project-based learning that would help our students be better prepared for life after high school. We believe developing students’ entrepreneurial thinking is an important part of preparing them for the future beyond high school, and research suggests youth entrepreneurship education can also help develop important non-cognitive skills such as communication and collaboration, creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. These essential soft skills can orient young people to success and is a key component that employers in Silicon Valley are looking for. Developing these skills is the best way for our students to be able to access the innovation economy in our own backyard.…Read More