Learning From Denver

Others will know better whether or how many times small school conversions in Chicago have failed and a school's actually had to go back to being big and comprehensive -- I'm pretty sure it's happened before but don't know how many times (Mike?) -- but in any case this debacle in Denver is illuminating and cautionary:

Failed Breakup of H.S. in Denver Offering Lessons EdWeek 
impending closure of the Manual Education Complex in Denver is sparking
a conversation about what can be learned from the experience at a time
when the nation has pinned high hopes on improving secondary schools by
turning them into smaller, more personalized environments.

Filed under: The World Outside CPS


Leave a comment
  • Alex

    I don't have an exact number. But the question is a loaded one. You could well ask the same thing abount funding reform, curriculum reform or high-school reform in general. It's not the reform that "fails". It's a whole system that is badly underfunded, badly led and buffered from the community it is supposed to serve. In fact, that same system works well for some and horribly for other. As I have said many times, high-school restructuring and redesign is essentially an equity issue. Until we are willing, as a community to give the resources to inner-city schools, ie. qualified teachers and learning environments, as we give to those in the wealthy suburbs, no reform will "succeed" for long. The end result is that the foundations and ed bureaucrats say, "reform is too tough" or "public schools are not reformable" and need to be shut down or turned over to private companies. That is the "renaissance" we are having here in Chicago.

Leave a comment