In the News: Purdue President Eyes Expansion into High School

Last year, Purdue University helped launch a charter school aimed at boosting the number of high school students in Indiana’s urban areas who can meet Purdue’s admissions criteria.

Now Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue and former governor of Indiana, wants to reach more high school students and hopes to expand the model established by Purdue Polytechnic High School, Caitlin Emma reports in Politico.

As Caroline Phenicie writes in the 74:

If we were to wait on the K-12 system to produce the numbers of first-generation and lower-income and minority students that we are seeking to educate and prepare for better lives, we would wait forever,” Daniels said.

The former GOP governor helped found Purdue Polytechnic High School, a charter school in Indianapolis serving mostly low-income students of color. It opened this school year with 150 freshmen, and it will have 600 students when it reaches capacity in fall 2020.

“The assignment is to take young people who have spent eight years in a struggling — I’ll be kind — school system, and four years later when they walk across the stage somewhere, I want there to be an admission to Purdue University in their diploma,” he said.

The goal is to prove that this charter model, which is STEM-focused and has “lots of business involvement,” works in Indianapolis, and then expand it elsewhere across the state, he said. Daniels hopes to expand to Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Evansville, and the school has partnered with businesses as varied as the city zoo and the Indianapolis Star newspaper, Politico reported.

A feature story in EdNext looked at an earlier effort made by Purdue and Indiana University to get involved in the education of high school students. In “High Schoolers in College” June Kronholz wrote about a dual enrollment program that allows academically advanced high school students in Indiana to take courses on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

— Education Next

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