Tuesday, June 30, 2009

no dropouts!

The Big Picture School in Camden, New Jersey, MetEast High School, made it through the year setting a very special record. No Dropouts! The loss of children from the system of education is one of those things that most school systems take for granted, as though a few students more or less don't really matter. Big Picture Schools are the brain child of Elliot Washor and Dennis Littky and are reinventing high school education. Their secret? Place children in situations in which they have real hands-on effect on community and environment.
Classes are built around the idea that students will learn by following their passions. Students do internships. Graduation requirements include a senior project with the aim of doing some good for the community.

And four times a year, every student makes a presentation to a panel that includes students and adults from outside the school.
Ask Elliot about the other secret of Big Picture Schools. He will tell you about the hands.

You have just a few more hours to vote in the measuring poll at right and I am surprised to see four systems of measurement running almost neck and neck. I should run the same poll again with a couple additional systems thrown in for additional refinement. Those would be "seat of the pants" and "trial and error," each of which could be summarized as "keep cutting your parts until they fits and then when they get too short, shrink your project as necessary." Anyway, please vote.

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