graduationThe country is experiences sluggish education outcomes, a prevalent job skills gap, and a growing population of traditionally underserved students.

And by 2020, research shows, 65 percent of all jobs will require post-secondary education. Today, only 43 percent of Americans have a college degree.

We need an innovative solution to increase the number of college degrees to grow the workforce. We need an option to offer traditionally underserved students the opportunity to succeed in college and career.

Early College High Schools could be the answer.

Throughout this week, we’ve celebrated Early College High School Week with our subsidiary, EDWorks, and our friends at JFF.

As a promising approach to increasing college access and attainment for traditionally underserved students, Early College High Schools traditionally offer students the opportunity to earn college credit on college campuses with college professors… during high school.

And through EDWorks partner schools, students have the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit – the equivalent of an associate’s degree – all before high school graduation.

– – – – –

ariesAries Brown is a graduate of the first class from Akron Early College High School in Akron, Ohio. As a first-generation college-goer, Aries praises her ECHS experience for preparing her to succeed in college.

“My mom didn’t go to college and she didn’t really know the ways of going about it,” Aries said. “It was really a big support system for knowing what college was and getting me prepared and ready for it.”

At the end of high school, Aries graduated with 72 college credit hours. All of those credits transferred when she attended Spelman College in Georgia. But, more importantly, Aries said she received supports in ECHS to be confident in her own ability to succeed in undergraduate studies.

“I felt like I was ready,” she said. “I knew myself as a college student. My Spelman sisters didn’t know themselves as college students yet. That made a big difference.”

Aries graduated from Spelman College in 2014. She is headed to medical school to pursue a dual degree: a masters in anatomy and a medical doctorate.

– – – – –

Currently, too many students are falling through the cracks of our education system. It’s time for a change. It’s time for a New Normal. It’s time to make Early College High School an option for more students.

Learn more:

 

 

Share

{ 0 comments }

Moving a district toward personalized learning is hard but necessary work, observed one of the participants in the session on district conditions for scaling personalized learning that Matt Williams and I led at the National School Board Association’s (NSBA’s) conference on Saturday. Another emphasized the importance of starting with a vision for learning and building out supporting elements, such as district technology policy, around that vision, instead of addressing each element piecemeal.

Indeed, all of the district leaders whom my colleagues interviewed about district conditions for scaling personalized learning emphasized the importance of having a shared vision supported by everyone from board members to educators to community partners. Other meta-themes spanning interviewees’ more detailed strategies included cultivating a district culture that is consistent with the vision and operating transparently so that all stakeholders can see how plans are unfolding and can feel free to take risks while pursuing new approaches.

Saturday’s NSBA conference session focused on moving innovation beyond isolated pockets of excellence to systems of excellence that align the elements of their student engagement and operations such that districts can scale personalized learning environments. The session looked not just at what KnowledgeWorks has learned from speaking with district leaders, but also at the future possibilities described in our infographic on the future of learning and our recent paper on innovation pathways toward vibrant learning ecosystems.

In so doing, the conversation highlighted the excitement that can come from pursuing a new vision for learning, whether that involves changing the physical learning environment, using real-time data to inform instruction, or personalizing professional development and its certification so that teachers can experience the kind of learning to which we aspire for students.

School boards have a unique and integral role to play in implementing conditions that help districts scale personalized learning environments. Without school boards’ vision and leadership, and without their partnership with district staff, establishing the conditions necessary to foster innovation, scale new and successful practices, and prepare for the future of learning is impossible. The district policies required to enact personalized learning at scale will reflect a school board’s visionary leadership.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Discussing how to scale innovative learning at NSBA conference

by Mary Kenkel March 20, 2015

Over the years, elements of innovative schools has gotten a lot of attention. While this focus has helped to shape student-centered practice in classrooms, it has done little to scale successful innovation beyond “pockets of evidence.” This weekend, KnowledgeWorks Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Matt Williams and Senior Director of Strategic Foresight Katherine Prince […]

Share
Read the full post →

Top Five Competency Takeaways from RSU 2 Superintendent Virgel Hammonds

by Mary Kenkel March 10, 2015

Throughout the past two months, competency education has been gaining a lot of attention. With shout-outs in an ESEA discussion draft by Sen. Lamar Alexander, potential pilots proposed in Ohio, a new study released by KnowledgeWorks and Nellie Mae Education Foundation and a KnowledgeWorks webinar on K-12 Competency Education and Policy (shameless plug), competency education is a […]

Share
Read the full post →

District Conditions for Scale: Exploring the Meta-Themes

by Mary Kenkel March 6, 2015

In the fall, KnowledgeWorks released the District Conditions for Scale: A Practical Guide to Scaling Personalized Learning. The report focuses on the conditions a K-12 school district should put in place to support the scaling of personalized learning. Last week, Matt Williams shared deeper insight on three meta-themes throughout the paper with Getting Smart. These themes — […]

Share
Read the full post →

Helping parents navigate the system to find best learning for students

by Mary Kenkel March 6, 2015

How would education change if families had access to learning sherpas? Katherine Prince explored the topic on Getting Smart, a website that explores accelerating and amplifying innovations in teaching and learning that puts students at the core. In her column, she shares her own experiences of choosing the right neighborhood and school experience for her […]

Share
Read the full post →
UA-13051511-1