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Connecting Career To High School Achievement

High school reformists incorporate the 3 R’s for student success: rigor, relevance, and relationships. Students need to be challenged academically, to understand how that challenge relates to life in the “real world,” and to know that adults in the system care about them and are invested in their success (what I have called in previous blogs, social capital).  Most urban high schools offer a range of rigor in course selections including honors and AP level courses.  However too many students lose the connectedness between their learning and the real world. How many times have we all heard the pitiful question: […]


Growing Gender Gap – This Time It’s The Boys

Pick an educational statistic, any statistic. Let’s say high school drop out rates, standardized test scores, college entrance rates, college graduation rates.  Boys are underperforming girls in a big way and this is something we all need to be concerned about.  When I was in school in the 60’s, it was a female gender gap.  Remember the Cinderella Complex?  Through changes in education, cultural attitudes and workplace opportunities, gender parity was reached through the 80’s. However, in the last 10 – 15 years, it has been a slow decline in male academic achievement. This has been seen across income and […]


A Private Sector Commitment to Lowering the School Drop-Out Rates

A Five Step Approach I recently attended two symposia – one on non-profit management at Stanford Business School’s Institute of Social Innovation and the other on urban education put on by the Institute of Urban Education at the University of Chicago. At these talks, there was a lot of discussion around change. How do you effect change when the problems seem so intractable? From these lectures, I can summarize this 5-step process: Name the enemy Find the bright spots – no matter how dismal the statistics, don’t get lost in the numbers and find where change has already happened at […]