In a San Jose Mercury News column, John looked at the College Connection Academy for seventh- through 12th-graders which uses the Scottish “skills to work” curriculum to prepare students for college and careers. A low-income, high-minority, mostly immigrant elementary district, the high school district and the local community college are working together.
College Connection Academy blends discrete elements of successful urban schools: small size, with close relationships between teachers and students, continuity in the transition between middle and high school, hands-on learning tied to career paths, counseling and tutoring, summer programs and a demanding curriculum.
The goal is to graduate students who’ve already completed a year of college courses. Already eighth graders have taken an automotive course at Evergreen College from instructor Michael Hernandez, the first American to be certified by the Scots.
I was most impressed that the academy is making eighth graders retake algebra, even though they passed it in seventh grade, after a closer look revealed their skills were not adequate. That means they’re serious.