PBS News Hour highlighted Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia last night (watch and share the video). If you have managed to go this long not knowing about SLA, now is the time to get up to speed and share with your school colleagues. In #EdJourney I cited SLA for leadership in several areas; I could have included them in virtually every chapter. Here was my summary::
Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia may be the iconic high school in America today. They have an extraordinary ethos of entrepreneurialism and innovation focused on student-centered learning. Their students and teachers maximize resources despite a lousy physical environment and disastrously low levels of public funding. They thrive off of “quirky” thinking, and are willing to test and fail rapidly. If we could replicate SLA in every high school across the country, (and there is no foundational reason why we cannot), the future would look bright indeed.
Public, private, and charter schools can all learn lessons from what Chris Lehmann, Jeremy Spry, Meeno Rami and the rest of the SLA team have managed to accomplish. Go visit; if you work in 9-12 education I cannot imagine a better day of PD than observing at SLA. I don’t think I have ever visited a school that would not profit from something great about SLA. Or send a team to attend the annual EduCon at SLA.
There is no reason, other than our fear and reluctance to try, that much of what makes SLA special can’t be replicated at other schools across America.