By Katrina Schwartz
More and more schools are breaking away from traditional school models to try new approaches that educators hope will engage students and stimulate a life-long love of learning. Often the most adventurous experimenters are in struggling schools where it is obvious that the status quo is failing students. Radical shake-ups at “high-achieving” schools are less common — it’s hard to see the need for change when test scores are high and kids are getting into prestigious colleges. But disengaged and bored students are found even at successful schools; kids are just more adept at jumping through the requisite hoops to achieve what they’ve been told will lead to a good life.
TRYING SOMETHING NEW
Greenwich High School in Connecticut is one such high-performing school. It is located in an affluent area with 14 percent of its students eligible for free and reduced price lunch. It’s also a big school with an emphasis on testing and Advanced Placement courses.