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May 12, 2005

high school reform meeting

CIRCLE is planning a public event on high school reform for July 6 in Washington. A formal invitation will be circulated shortly, but anyone could contact me to express an interest in attending.

The National Governors Association recently found that “America’s high schools are failing to prepare too many of our students for work and higher education.” Even though a diploma is seen as a minimum requirement for entry into the workforce, one third of all adolescents (and half of all African American and Latino students) do not complete high school at all. Many who do graduate are not prepared for the 21st-century economy. Various fundamental reforms are being considered to increase academic success and students’ economic potential.

The discussion about high school reform often overlooks schools’ civic mission, which is to prepare young people to participate in democracy. However, research tells us a great deal about how schools should be organized to achieve civic outcomes.

Some people believe that one particular reform proposal has both economic and democratic promise. They want to transform traditional, large, omni-purpose, relatively anonymous high schools into institutions of smaller size, with more coherent focus, more student participation, and more connections to the surrounding community.

On July 6, we plan to discuss the following question: To what extent would such alternatives to traditional large high schools enhance (or block) students’ academic success and their education for democracy? Speakers will include experts on fundamental school reform, experts on civic education, educators, and students. There will be opportunities for questions and a plenary discussion.

May 12, 2005 12:38 PM | category: advocating civic education | Comments


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