What makes America the most inventive culture on the planet? When I go to international meetings, why do leaders from countries with the highest test scores tell me they wish their kids could be more like ours? It’s because we value free thinking, creativity and innovation. We raise our kids to discover their talents and pursue them toward futures full of possibilities.
As a nation, we have to help students rise to the standards of life in a knowledge economy. Our first priority has to be raising achievement in equal measure for all kids, regardless of their background, income or zip code.
But we won’t get there by whittling the curriculum in schools, and narrowing opportunity and inspiration where we should be expanding them.
Are you a visual learner? Download the TASC 2011 Annual Report and turn to page 5 to see how Hilton Elementary School in Baltimore is doing the opposite of narrowing the curriculum. By partnering with Child First Authority to expand the learning day, Hilton offers kids more time for the arts, a daily period of science, leadership opportunities and individual and small group learning.
Hilton is one of 11 schools participating in a national demonstration of expanded learning time with support from the Open Society Foundations and others. In addition to re-thinking the school schedule and curriculum, ExpandED Schools are also re-inventing faculty to include talented artists and college students and professionals of all kinds from their communities. The short video below shows what that looks like on the ground in one school that welcomes the talent and energy of community educators.