On Top of the News
How this Bay Area charter school network is reinventing education
Los Angeles Times | 3/1/16
Behind the Headline
Education Next | Summer 2013
For an article in the LA Times, Nichole Dobo pays a visit to the Summit network of charter schools and its founder Diane Tavenner. The first school in the network was founded in Silicon Valley in 2003 and aimed to bring a nontraditional approach to teaching both rich and poor students from the community.
Tavenner asked her teaching staff to see whether they could figure out what was missing from the education their schools offered, and how to make it right.
The teachers decided that, with help from technology, they could give each child the skills that particular child needed to succeed in college — not only in terms of academics, but also in terms of personal habits.
They decided to design a system that would enable teachers, students and parents to log on to computers and find a vast repository of lessons, as well as a way to track success and to see immediately when students were falling behind.
They also decided to teach “habits of success” that people need to function well in college, dividing these into six categories: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, interpersonal skills, decision-making and responsible behavior.
But, as Dobo explains, less than 10 years after opening its first school, Summit felt the need to reinvent itself. The article explains how the network has continued to tweak its model.
Joanne Jacobs interviewed Summit founder Diane Tavenner for the Summer 2013 issue of Education Next.
– Education Next