A high-scoring Denver charter school will be the model for 35 new Texas high schools to be created in high-poverty neighborhoods. The Denver School for Science and Technology is one of a few Colorado high schools rated “excellent” by the state, reports the Denver Post.
About 38 percent of DSST’s 335 students live in poverty. The school is diverse: About one-third are Latino, one-third are African-American and one-third are white. The school has ninth-, 10th- and 11th-graders and will be a full high school next year.
DSST offers a small number of classes taught by teachers who specialize in a subject – rather than the “cafeteria- style” comprehensive high school. Almost all the students take the same core classes, and many of the school’s few electives are taught by outside people.
For example, an engineer comes in to teach a computer-aided design class.
Texans were impressed by DSST’s culture.
Almost every day opens with a schoolwide meeting where kids — standing in a circle — celebrate accomplishments. If a student gets in trouble, he or she often has to apologize to the group.
Students are also given grades on “values,” such as integrity and responsibility.
It sounds KIPPish.
The Texas schools — a mix of charter and district-run schools — also will try to emulate San Diego’s successful High Tech High, another charter that attracts a mix of students.