People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions

The Daily Riff's "Person of the Year" in Education 2009

CJ Westerberg, November 15, 2011 8:08 PM


"A Great Liberal Arts High School in Disguise"
High Tech High
VIDEO below

Larry Rosenstock wins because he speaks to all of us
personally and profoundly:
 students, parents, teachers, administrators,
and everyone who cares about education.

Rosenstock wins because if more people knew about his schools,
they would be clamoring for them in their own backyards.

-C.J. Westerberg

He edged out Geoffrey Canada by a hair, but that is another story.  Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan, POTUS Obama are higher on the news-maker scale (Time's criteria), but we went for the person hitting the most chords.  Rosenstock walks the talk.  He is guided by principles that defy conventional wisdom in education.  

Rosenstock is founding principal and CEO of High Tech High in San Diego, which has been called a "great liberal arts school in disguise".  In other words, it's not your father's tech school.  With a college entry rate of 100%, this charter school (now a group of schools in southern California) is envied because it dispels many accepted notions of "what works" in education both in practice and by results.   (No matter what side of the fence you are with regard to charter schools, the point of this post is not an endorsement for or against, rather it is an opportunity to view a different kind of school in action).    

Rosenstock's successful vision defies just about every stereotype we may carry around or have heard, and lays no apologies in his wake:  what is rigor; how engineering and art are integral;  how teachers best develop;  how students learn best;  what is education;  how social change is directed by education;  individual passions;  segregation; how their approach to  hands-on tech "is not asking a 15 year old to mis-predict what they will be doing as an adult";  integrating passions;  community involvement; and even a few great quotes from Jefferson and others . . .

Rosenstock's bio here.  
Related post:  Is This the Best High School In America?

  Rosenstock wins McGraw Prize in Education October 21, 2010

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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
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