3 keys to student success with early college programs

Like a growing number of school districts, North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools (GCS) has early college programs that allow students to earn college credit while they’re still in high school. But what’s unique about GCS is the number of choices the district offers: 14 altogether, including nine high schools that operate on college campuses.

GCS has offered early college options since 2001 and has seen remarkable success, despite serving a largely urban and low-income population. All but two of its early college high schools have a 100-percent graduation rate—and the lowest rate among the other two is 97 percent.

What’s more, these programs aren’t just serving the top students in the district, who would already be on a college track. Some of them target students considered at risk of dropping out, making college both attainable and affordable for students who otherwise would not attend.…Read More

These high schools are putting students to work — literally

Two long-awaited high schools are opening this week in Baton Rouge, offering different pathways to college and the working world.

Opening Monday is Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School, the newest member of a Chicago-based network of 32 Catholic schools in 21 states and the network’s first in Louisiana.

Supporters have been working for more than two years to bring Cristo Rey to Baton Rouge. Its inaugural class of 78 ninth-graders will not only learn in the classroom, but starting Monday, they also will go to work. At least one full day each week, they will work at a white-collar job in town. In exchange, 17 Baton Rouge employers have agreed to underwrite part of their tuition.…Read More

Designing custom ed-tech software requires joint effort

Off-the-shelf education technology platforms can often fall short when aligning with educators’ specific approaches to instruction. As a result, many school systems take matters into their own hands by developing custom software and tools only to find they lack the scale, revenue sources and expertise to do so successfully.

In a new study, the Clayton Christensen Institute profiles two organizations that co-designed technology to help school leaders bridge the disconnect between instructional models and new technologies.

“Connecting Ed & Tech: Partnering to drive student outcomes” examines a unique collaboration between Leadership Public Schools (LPS), a charter school management organization that operates three high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Gooru, a nonprofit ed-tech company. Each organization had separate yet related issues – LPS needed more robust technology to support a new blended learning program at scale, while Gooru needed a school partner to help align its technology with specific classroom use cases. Rather than developing solutions independently, LPS and Gooru merged their teams to collaboratively design a tool that has already shown positive learning results for LPS students.…Read More

America’s most challenging high schools

America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that’s a simple ratio, reports the Washington Post: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates…

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What high schools are teaching teens about the war on terror

What kids learn in school tends to change with the times, and some curricular regulations that are either antiquated or simply embedded in beliefs have raised eyebrows across the country as of late, the Huffington Post reports. Yet regulation aside, in a layer of education that reaches students firsthand, is the textbook: the student’s omniscient manual in any given subject. Because these books dictate student knowledge and can shape perspective, their contents are sometimes the source of controversy. In Louisiana, for example, one commonly used textbook teaches students “the accumulated wisdom of the past from a biblical worldview.” And while September 11 is a recent memory that many still live with, the attacks are a distant reference to schoolchildren today. As the event and its subsequent war have become “recent history,” The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf took to examine how high schoolers are learning about 9/11 and the years following

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