Washington, DC - Today the White House is bringing together leadership teams from six states and more than 20 school districts to commit to redesigning their high schools – efforts estimated to reach more than 600,000 students. This second annual White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools builds on progress made during the first summit held in November 2015, which generated $375 million in private and public sector commitments to rethink the high school experience.
President Obama announced his Next Generation High School proposal in his 2013 State of the Union address to redesign the high school experience so that it is rigorous and more engaging and relevant to today’s students. Today’s Next Generation High Schools are better engaging students by providing stronger connections to the educational needs and interests of individual students; opening new opportunities to personalize and tailor academic content and wrap-around student supports; challenging students with rigorous courses, including in new economy subjects such as computer science; using innovative approaches and strategies to restructure the scope and time spent learning; and employing innovative educational technologies, project-based learning, and competency-based progressions to engage and empower learners. Ultimately, the strategies reflected in America’s Next Generation High Schools will equip today’s youth with the strong content knowledge, collaboration opportunities, and critical skills needed to meet the demands of an innovation economy, while preparing them to embark upon a lifetime of learning.
The commitments states, school districts and the private sector are making at the Summit to Next Generation High Schools underscore growing momentum from across the country. In addition to these efforts, the U.S. Department of Education is announcing new resources to help communities that want to create Next Generation High Schools.
Key New Federal Resources to Advance Next Generation High Schools
The White House and the U.S. Department of Education are announcing federal resources that will help more states and districts create and scale Next Generation High Schools in their communities. These resources include:
- Progress Update on Commitments to Scale Next Generation High Schools: Building on the progress of the first annual White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools last November, the White House is releasing a progress report detailing key metrics of success from the commitments that were made at the first Summit.
- Issue Brief - Results from National Survey on High School Strategies Designed to Help At-Risk Students Graduate – Early Warning Systems: The U.S. Department of Education is releasing the first of 13 briefs that provide descriptive information on the prevalence and characteristics of strategies designed to help at-risk students graduate from high school. The Department’s first brief on Early Warning Systems is being released today, with other briefs coming out this fall.
- Using Evidence to Create Next Generation High Schools: The U.S. Department of Education is releasing a new resource that highlights six evidence-based strategies to improve America’s high schools for the next generation The six general evidence-based strategies in this document can be used to create Next Generation High Schools that improve important student outcomes, such as high school completion and readiness for college and careers.
- Next Generation High Schools - Guide to Federal Resources: Later this fall, the U.S. Department of Education will release a guide for states and districts to available funding streams that may be leveraged to promote the development, enhancement, and continuity of Next Generation High Schools. The guide will provide state and local stakeholders with innovative examples of how to utilize their existing funds or new funding streams to promote Next Generation High Schools.
Actions by States to Redesign the High School Experience
Education leaders from six states will join the Summit to underscore their commitment to advancing Next Generation High Schools, share best practices and announce new progress towards increasing student access to redesigned high schools. Their commitments include:
- The New Hampshire Department of Education, in conjunction with the Buck Institute, is announcing a professional learning community as part of ongoing efforts to support the state’s lowest performing schools. The community will provide embedded professional development, leadership, and technical assistance to schools engaged in implementing project-based learning and is estimated to reach 22,292 students.
- The Ohio Department of Education is committing to rethink high schools according to many of the Next Generation principles and to focus on helping students successfully transition from high school to college and career. Combined, initiatives that are being undertaken could impact over 100,000 students across the state.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is committed to expanding scalable opportunities throughout the state that promote and incorporate the principles of Next Generation High Schools. The combined impact of their efforts has the potential to benefit more than 300,000 students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- The Rhode Island Department of Education is undertaking efforts to create Next Generation High Schools that better prepare their students for postsecondary success by increasing access to rigorous coursework, dual enrollment and innovative school models. This fall, three P-TECH high schools will open in Rhode Island and Rhode Island plans to open two P-TECH high schools in the fall 2017. These five schools will serve more than 1,400 students when fully enrolled.
- The Virginia State Board of Education is reforming graduation requirements to change the structure and operation of high schools to encourage high schools to be more rigorous and more innovative in how they educate students. Those requirements will go into effect with the entering freshmen class of 2018 -- impacting about 100,000 students.
- The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) will work together to scale innovative practices in active learning that promote postsecondary and career readiness, specifically focusing their efforts in three to five of the lowest performing high schools in MPS.
Continued Private Sector Commitment to Next Generation High Schools
Building on the commitments made during the last summit, additional resources are also being announced by non-profit and private sector organizations to continue to support Next Generation High Schools, including:
- A Roadmap to Evidence based practice for Improving Low Graduation Rate High School: Today, the Everyone Graduates Center at John’s Hopkins University is releasing a roadmap that provides a high level synthesis of what is known and what has been learned about the reforms low graduation rate high schools typically require and what evidence indicates works.
- Announcing the Next Generation of Super Schools: On September 14, 2016, XQ: the Super School Project is committing to announce at least five winning teams to become America’s first cohort of Super Schools. The Super Schools Project, which was announced as a commitment to action as a part of the President's My Brother’s Keeper initiative, will allow all communities to build on what works, because every child deserves an equal opportunity to get an effective education.
- Building Capacity for Redesign at the Local Level: The Alliance for Excellent Education is working to help connect the numerous high school redesign efforts currently underway across the nation through both traditional communications means and a digital network infrastructure. Further, the Alliance is creating toolkits for education leaders designed to support next-generation high schools including implementation around the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The first tool kits are being released in conjunction with the second annual White House Summit on Next-Generation High Schools.
- Funders’ Collaborative for Innovative Measurement Building a Repository of Measures Next Gen Competencies: In 2015, the Funders' Collaborative for Innovative Measurement (FCIM) was formed. Among other projects, FCIM is supporting the creation and curation of a repository of existing measures of 21st century competencies, like collaboration and perseverance, which will help the field to understand what skills and dispositions currently can and cannot be measured at scale. With seed funding in early 2016 from the Hewlett Foundation, the RAND Corporation has pilot-tested and now developed the basic architecture for such a repository; FCIM is currently working on a number of ways to generate the support to complete this important initiative.
- Supporting Socioemotional Learning: The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Facebook are announcing an expanded version of inspirED, an online resource center and community that focuses on creating pathways for high school students and educators to work together to create more positive emotional climates in their schools. This October, they will host a Summit that will bring together teens, educators, school administrators, and researchers to share best practices, tackle challenges, and celebrate schools that are working together to create more positive school climates and greater well-being for students and educators.