Today, the Obama Administration will host the first-ever White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools. The event will highlight students, educators, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs who are reinventing the high school experience to better empower students to seize opportunities in today’s economy, and prepare students for success in college and career.
As part of the President’s 2015 State of the Union push, the White House called for a national effort to create more Next Generation High Schools—schools that incorporate key elements of redesign, including more personalized and active learning, access to real-world and hands-on learning such as “making” experiences, deeper ties to post-secondary institutions, and a focus on expanding STEM opportunities for girls and other groups of students who are underrepresented in these high-growth, well-paying fields. Today’s announcements showcase a broad Federal and private response to the President’s call to action.
The Achievement Dividend
The Summit comes on the heels of new data that showcases the collective impact of Federal and local efforts to improve high schools over the past five years. New data released today by the Alliance for Excellent Education, the America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center show that we’ve seen a significant reduction in the percentage of students who do not complete high school on-time—from 1,015,946 students a year in 2008 to 744,193 students in 2012—a 27% drop in just four years. If sustained over the next decade, that achievement dividend translates into 2.3 million more high school graduates, and $150 billion of additional lifetime wages earned.
And we must do more. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, only 50% of high schools in the U.S. offer calculus, only 63% offer physics, and between 10-25% of high schools offer zero or one of the typical sequence of core math and science courses such as Algebra I and II, geometry, biology, and chemistry. We must ensure that all students have access to the full suite of courses that will prepare them for success in the innovation economy, and that begins with having access to rigorous coursework in high school. Today, Esri is releasing a web-based map and tool to empower everyone to explore this course inequity data in a new, interactive way.
New Federal Investments
To build on this record, the Administration is announcing several new resources and investments to support the redesign of high schools. Significantly, later this week, the Administration will announce its intention to award over $20 million in federal grants through its Investing in Innovation (i3) grants specifically to support the reform and redesign of high schools that serve a high percentage of low-income students.
i3 supports organizations who are transforming education in communities across America by implementing innovative and proven strategies while building evidence of what works to address persistent education challenges. This application cycle marked the first time that carried an absolute priority for applicants committed to high school redesign.
Broad Response to the President’s Call to Action
In addition, a wide-ranging community of foundations, non-profits, education leaders and companies are announcing new steps to support next-generation high schools, including:
- Commitments to develop and launch 100 next-generation schools serving more than 50,000 students over the next five years, including IBM’s commitment to support an additional 25 P-TECH schools and totaling more than 125 in development over three years, the New Tech Network expanding to an additional 50 schools, Silicon Schools Fund investing $40 million to launch 40 more schools, EDWorks’ new campaign to seed 12 early-college high schools in the South, and the Institute for Student Achievement tripling the number of high school students they serve from 25,000 students to 75,000 students.
- More than $225 million from leading education foundations in support of next-generation high schools, including up to $200 million from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to accelerate student-centered approaches to learning in New England, $25 million by Carnegie Corporation of New York, a longstanding funder of new school design, and a new funder collaborative led by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation that will provide support for more than 1,000 school leaders across 50 states to redesign their schools with leadership from IDEO and the Stanford d.School.
- Giving more than 600,000 students access to rigorous courses and career pathways, with $100 million in new investments from the National Math and Science Initiative to expand access to AP courses to 300 additional high schools and 450,000 additional students, Linked Learning committing to serve an additional 160,000 students in their career pathways model, and a coalition of organizations committing to expand dual enrollment and early college high school experiences to 10,000 low-income high school students through the Department of Education’s recently announced experimental-site authority.
- Expanding the opportunities for engaging STEM and maker learning, with a commitment for a collective 14,000 days-equivalent of volunteer hours by STEM professionals from fourteen Change the Equation companies, and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh partnering with museums and libraries to bring high-quality maker education to 75 schools across the country.
- Expanding on the momentum from the Summit, the Alliance for Excellent Education will launch the “Better High Schools for All” initiative to continue to build momentum for next-generation high schools by translating significant research activities into actionable recommendations and building connections across organizations and sectors.
To support continued research and innovation, today’s Summit is preceded by a day-long National Science Foundation forum with leading researchers in next-generation learning.
Full details on the Summit and all of the public and private announcements being made today are available HERE.