This week, the Atlantic posted a great profile on the Bard Early College Network, and features OSI-Baltimore supported Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Baltimore, a High Value High School. BHSEC, established with the help of an OSI-Baltimore grant to the Fund for Educational Excellence, is designed to allow Baltimore City students to graduate in four years with both a high school diploma and a two-year associate’s degree.
Launched about 15 years ago, the Bard Early College network wanted to bring rigorous high school education to public-school students while also giving them access to higher education classes without the high tuition costs. The network doesn’t rely on “traditional indicators like past academic performance or attendance to determine which prospective students make the cut.” The schools, according to the article, are looking for “kids who are intellectually curious, even if they haven’t had access to good teachers and lessons in the past.”
This model seems to be working. Said one BHSEC 10th grader getting ready to transition from high school to the college phase of his Bard education, “The students, they have a voice here. Their thoughts matter.”
Bard is part of OSI’s Education and Youth Development Program’s focus to develop and fund innovative new school models aimed primarily at students who are likely to leave without graduating and accelerate both students’ progress through high school.