12 January 2008

Will we always keep the same high school model?

I have some nagging ideas about reinventing high schools (hs).

Let’s see, today a hs is set up with students take content classes to meet certain requirements that then promote until they graduate. I think it’s safe to day the goal of high school is to graduate students. There are hs counselors that support student in managing their schedules and other social issues. Too, there is the administration – principal and vice-principals – that manage the polices and processes of the school which are usually handed down by the district office, along with overseeing and being responsible for the day to day events that occur on campus. Teachers deal with issues in class and teach content to help students learn. As an overview this is pretty much it, I realize I may be over simplifying things.

Here are my nagging ideas for reinventing hs ….. in brief.

- Student will graduate with content knowledge and global citizen skills
- Each hs will be financially self sufficient based on student revenue and other revenue derived by school operations.

The district office is abolished. The work done there is outsourced to companies who do it for less and more efficiently.

A committee made up of vice principals from all district schools will produce district polices and processes, including curriculum development and so forth.

On the campus, a committee is made up from senior teachers, 7 or more years experience, to manage and mentor teachers. These committee members only teach limited classes since they spend the majority of time developing teachers.

Principals are responsible for the fiscal management of the campus … much like the CEO of a business. Vice principals work with teachers and other contracted Subject Matter Experts to iron out and carry out directives from the principal.

Schools still get federal revenue based on attendance. Additionally, under direction and guidance of principal the campus creates projects to engage local/national businesses. Those businesses make a financial contribution in one form or another and in return get receive tax credit. Why? Each hs is the center of the neighborhood and trains the future leaders of this world.

Teachers expand from solely teaching content to combining teaching content in class with organizing and completing projects within the community and on campus. This translates to project based learning activities, which research shows are extremely successful in having students learn. These projects will naturally teach the students the content they need to pass exams, along with building life skills. These projects are done by partnering with local/national businesses, government agencies, and non governmental agencies, which may or may not get tax credits.

I’ve been in business. I’ve been teaching hs. I think this will work with a few tweaks here and there.

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