Throughout the country, educators, parents, businesspeople, and policy makers are rethinking high school. They're opening new small schools and transforming large, impersonal high schools into small learning communities. They're personalizing instruction, creating new learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom, and providing additional support and services for students at risk of dropping out.
Below you'll find links to original Edutopia.org articles, videos, and multimedia features on some of the most innovative high schools in the country. These schools serve as excellent examples of how motivated, caring educators can create opportunities for students to engage in learning that's both rigorous and relevant to their needs and interests.
We've also included links to several organizations that are leading the way in the area of high school reform. Visit the web sites of these organizations for reports, resources, and additional examples of schools and communities working to transform our high schools and provide new educational opportunities for all students.
Articles, Videos, and Multimedia Features
Wall-to-wall career academies and a transition program for ninth graders have helped to create an environment at this Texas high school in which personal relationships are valued and where rigorous, relevant education -- inside and outside of the classroom -- is the norm for all students.
At Minnesota's School of Environmental Studies, the academic program and school architecture were designed to promote interdisciplinary, project-based learning.
Fremont Business Academy students used entrepreneurial spirit to fight truancy and design a new school. In the process they become international winners.
At San Francisco's Gateway High School, a diverse group of students learn how their brains work and how to accommodate their learning styles. Most important, they discover that there is no one "right way" to learn.
At this small learning community, an interdisciplinary group of teachers and biotechnology business partners is helping at-risk students to become college-ready and career-bound.
At West Hawaii Explorations Academy, students develop and manage their own projects, with guidance from mentors from the community.
Project-oriented assessments that include critiques by outside experts are among the innovations at this New York City high school.
Looking for more information on high school reform efforts? Visit these sites for reports, expert assistance, articles on model schools, and more.
The Big Picture Company (www.bigpicture.org) is replicating the Met model in cities throughout the country.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org) funds much of the nation's high school reform work.
The Career Academy Support Network (http://casn.berkeley.edu) assists educators in career academies and small learning communities throughout the country.
The Coalition of Essential Schools (www.essentialschools.org) has been working with small schools for 20 years.
Jobs for the Future (www.jff.org) is spearheading an effort to open early-college high schools throughout the United States.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (www.principals.org) report “Breaking Ranks II” is a reform guide for high school administrators.
The National High School Alliance (www.hsalliance.org), a coalition of more than 40 organizations, strives to keep high school reform at the top of the nation's education agenda.
The School Redesign Network at Stanford University (www.schoolredesign.net) is a resource for parents, teachers, and administrators seeking to improve their schools.
What Kids Can Do (www.wkcd.org) endeavors to ensure that students' voices are heard and considered during the debate around high school reform.