Educated Guess

John Fensterwald, a former San Jose Mercury News colleague who’s now at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, is blogging at The Educated Guess.

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.

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  1. I’ve not heard of this Scottish program. I need to do some research.

  2. Great! Glad to see he’s back.