Philadelphia's low-performing traditional schools are hemorrhaging students. So superintendent William Hite is fighting back, giving students an incentive to return by opening three high schools with innovative, project-based curriculums. Will it work?
Reports by John Merrow
John Merrow is currently Education Correspondent for PBS NewsHour and President of Learning Matters. He began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio nearly 40 years ago with the weekly series, Options in Education, for which he received the George Polk Award in 1982. In subsequent years, he expanded into broadcast television, documentaries, and print. In 2012, he became the first journalist to receive the prestigious McGraw Prize in Education.
He has received George Foster Peabody Awards for School Sleuth: The Case of An Excellent School (2000) and Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet (2006), Emmy nominations in 1984, 2005, and 2007, four CINE Golden Eagles, numerous awards from the Education Writers Association and more. An occasional contributor to USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Education Week, he is the author of The Influence of Teachers (2011), Choosing Excellence (2001) and co-editor of Declining by Degrees (2005).
At Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia, project-based learning is at the core of all instruction, and it seems to work.
When Alejandro Gac-Artigas tried to launch a summer program for struggling readers, he ran into problems. John Merrow talks to him about his novel idea and the difficult launch.
Alejandro Gac-Artigas, founder of Springboard Collaborative, a non-profit organization that manages summer learning programs for struggling readers and their families, speaks about the personal journey that inspired him to launch Springboard.