Created at the turn of the 19th century, the current education system is the same as it was 120 years ago, an industrial model designed to produce interchangeable workers in mass quantities. Our students and our future depend on creating a new paradigm -- one that accounts for new styles of learning, new realities of the digital age and new jobs of the future economy.
The education system is neglecting the dynamic changes happening in the 21st Century and continues, despite tremendous research and commentary that demand otherwise, to rely upon an antiquated model of teaching and learning used since the early 1900’s. As a result, it has left a plethora of young adults wondering how to survive in a world of constant change.
It doesn’t stop there. There is a narrative being sold in America today that if you work hard, and you get a great score on the ACT and you go to college, and you get a great job - it is then that you’ll be rich and then you’ll be happy. That narrative is costing our sons and our daughters the chance at happiness throughout the entire journey. We are creating an atmosphere of stress and anxiety unprecedented in teenagers. Happiness is not the destination. Happiness has to be found all along the path as one of the key factors leading to a fulfilled life.
Our collective challenge is compounded when we consider the inequality in expression and empowerment of women, the socio-economically burdened, and traditionally underrepresented minorities in our highest forms of leadership. The struggle against an inherent system of oppression and suppression has been all too real for far too many people.
It must change.
We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch as our children are left behind in a connected world. Instead, we will disrupt the entire system by designing and creating a new high school model that transforms current thinking on education delivery by redesigning the way in which time, talent and technology are implemented across the teaching and learning spectrum.
The old model is dry and filled with cracks created by years of slow moving change -- afraid of the same changes that have moved technology, medicine, science and art forward. Education has to catch up, but not my thinking in the same old ways.
WhY do we need change
- The traditional model is failing students.
- 60% of all students graduating from DPS need to take remedial courses in college.
- There is greater than a 30% achievement gap between low-income and non low-income students in Denver.
- The opportunity gap between the haves and the have-nots grows wider every day in Denver.
- Young black men are still 4x as likely to be suspended as their white classmates.
- Only 60% of students graduate high school within four years.
- Colorado ranks 42nd in the country for spending on education.
- The dropout rate in Denver Public Schools is 4.6%.