Eight community colleges in California are testing out a new education model, one that defines success by the skills a student learns, not the time they spend in a classroom. But changing the traditional education system isn’t easy.
Experienced educators know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to learning. And yet, the tens of millions of public school students in the United States have fairly similar class structures. One teacher per classroom, desks facing front, and testing each spring to grade the students’—and school’s—progress.
These norms are hard to change. But that doesn’t stop educators, administrators, and non-profits from figuring out ways to shake things up in order to better serve students. In Houston, that means bringing Mariachi programs into schools, allowing students access to new music skills and cultural connections. In Vermont, it looks like fresh local eggs, fruits, and meat on the school lunch trays of Woodstock-area students. And in Montana, a new state-funded program helps public middle and high school students overcome financial barriers that stand in the way of their career goals.
Read on to learn more about these innovative paths—as well as some of the longer standing ones, including New York City's Hospital Schools program, that continue to impact the lives of students and their families.
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“Miss Anne Marie understood that learning is essential to a child’s humanity. They hunger for novelty and to understand the world around them. None of these students felt well and yet school was there for them when they were ready. The Hospital Schools Program gave my daughter some agency in her young life.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and other districts rely on data and analytics about test scores, but leaders are trying to maintain another essential element of learning: joy.
Last Spring, St. Paul Gave Abdisalam Adam Three Months to Start the Nation’s First East African Magnet School. Here’s What Happened.Sahan Journal
St. Paul Public Schools will offer elementary students and their parents support in Arabic, Amharic, Oromo, Somali, Swahili, and Tigrinya.
Young musicians in these programs gain both musical experience and a connection to a cultural identity they may not have always gotten to embrace.
It is meant to bring more equity to tutoring by connecting students and families who cannot access the additional help with tutors in a convenient and affordable way.
The program’s aim is to provide intergenerational support in schools, and AmeriCorps pays seniors a small stipend for their volunteer service.
In Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, teachers are finding ways to give students an in-depth education on African American history even as the subject comes under attack.
Connect with some of the best local journalism from outlets across the country.
American Journalism Project
The American Journalism Project (AJP) is the first venture philanthropy dedicated to local news. AJP makes grants to local nonprofit news organizations to build their revenue and business operations, partner with communities to launch new organizations, and mentor leaders as they grow and sustain their newsrooms. Learn more about the independent, community-driven nonprofit news organizations AJP supports.