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President Acknowledges 12 Innovative High Schools Across the Nation

Contrary to the popular belief that public education is dysfunctional or unstimulating—a recent publication even calling the US public education system a penitentiary for boredom—twelve relatively new schools have emerged within the past two decades, providing a freshness in the schools system that has not gone unnoticed. Last week, President Barrack Obama picked out these schools and recognized them as leading an effort in positive change throughout public education. This is because of their innovative programs and the wide range of opportunities which they offer their students, as you’ll read below.

The first of these schools is the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, located in Brooklyn, NY. The main characteristic of this school which sets it apart from the rest of the schools in the area is that it goes all the way up to Grade 14, allowing its graduates to leave high school with an associate degree—giving them the advantage over other fresh graduates and in fact, giving them a wider set of options. Graduating from this school allows one the option of wisely or “safely” skipping college, should the choose so—a trend that has been emerging throughout the nation in the past few years.

While the school we previously mentioned focuses more on technology and the computer sciences, the next school which was mentioned focuses more on the arts—the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in New York, NY specializes in the training of students who are gifted in music and the arts, including specific programs such as art studio, dance studio, drama and technical theatre & music theatre studio. One of the oldest schools on the list, the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School was the inspiration for the late 80s movie Fame. Notable alumni include Al Pacino and Jennifer Aniston.

The Clintondale High School in Detroit, Michigan became one of the first flipped schools in the country, innovating and refurbishing its curriculum in 2010. Instead of giving homework, assignments are done during the day and the lecture part is done via Skype or take-home video. Previously one of the top five worst schools in Detroit, they have now become one of the best.

In Chicago, one school aims to provide education and livelihood for their students while simultaneously keeping Chicago’s last farm running. The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences helps maintain the 55-acre plot. In addition to core subjects such as math, science and English the high school’s curriculum also features science subjects that focus on Agriculture. Similar schools are the Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences in Philadelphia and the Norfolk Agricultural High School in Walpole, Massachusetts.

Just as a lot of the schools recognized by the president address a lot of competencies, skills and IQ-related matters, the Alliance School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin began in 2005 as a safe haven for education where no bullying was tolerated—their focus being mainly on the peaceful integration of LGBT students into the educational community. A lot of their students are transferees from other schools where they were bullied or made the subject of hate crimes and hate pranks.

Also on the list are the following high schools which focus on curriculum that is specific and well-maintained, including the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy (a school that focuses on skiing and snow sports), the Minnesota New Country School (an institution that doesn’t have teachers, bells or hall passes—only advisers and day-long learning sessions), Another Course to College (which focuses on getting their students into good colleges: this being a pre-requisite for graduation), the MAST Academy (a school which caters to leanings in Marine Biology), the Florida Virtual School and the FDNY High School for Fire and Life Safety (which gives the kids an option of becoming full-time firefighters after passing their senior medical emergency exams).



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