The World’s Expert in the Future of High School?

Since that's a fairly outrageous claim, you deserve some explanation.

…Especially since, not only has no one else so dubbed me, no one has publicly even hinted that I’m close. Certainly, no one has written a piece, “Does this Engineer-Turned Edu-Evangelist Hold the Key to Transforming High School?” [Though they’ve written so about a goofy 17-year-old].

Here’s why I believe that I am, indeed, the word’s foremost expert in the future of high school.

  1. Of the other contenders for that title, there are definitely a few. Certainly a number of people on the staff of KnowledgeWorks; and if not one of them in particular, the team as a whole, and their futurists specifically. Tom Vander Ark and his team at Getting Smart. (He wrote a book.) Grant Lichtman, who also wrote a book (soon three). Ted Dintersmith produced a film, and has spent the past year traveling the nation promoting the project-based vision of high school. A bunch of people gathered by the XQ Institute for their $100 million XQSuperSchools initiative. Also, a number of people and groups work largely outside of school, with the aim of someday changing that institution. LRNG and RemakeLearning foremost in my mind. People who work with what’s called Competency-Based Learning, notably Chris Sturgis of Competency Works, Nick Donahue & staff of the Nellie Mae Foundation, and Colleen Broderick and others at the Donnell-Kay Foundation and the ReSchool Colorado project. . And, two people I’ve not yet met, Seth Andrew and Gisele Huff, seem to have the nearest grasp as to the conditions for disruptive change.
  2. Most of the above have recently written with some frustration over the lack, yet, of a model to scale transformation. Tom most recently wrote such here.
  3. Others have written and spoken about the shortcomings of the XQ Superschools approach to #rethingHighSchool. For example, Rick Hess’ “My Mixed Feelings on XQ’s ‘Super Schools’”.
  4. Yet, I’ve offered, in full, here and here, a complete model for transforming high school into the networked age.
hackablehighschools.com

Is the transformation model I’m extending the right one? We can’t now know for sure. Not until we run the experiment.

…Which is mostly the reason for this blog.

While I put the odds above 55% that I am right, I don’t want to be called an expert in anything. I just want to help launch an experiment.

…An experiment envisioned by others, now nearly a decade back.

Fund the experiment. Please. Get me out of the Uber-car. Get me into the game with teens.

Ubering is fun, and sometimes educational. It’s not changing school for teens.


Ed Jones is bootstrapping a Statewide Experiment in Customized Teen Learning, leads the Hackable High Schools movement, and once redesigned the world’s most complex software/electronics system. He works to finish the book Hacking High School, Making School Work for All Teens, and lives & works (usually) in Appalachian Ohio.