Thursday, January 5, 2012

What are we doing?!

Last month Eric Grunden and I visited the Ohio STEM Hub collaborative and some of its key schools. MC2/Squared High School in Cleveland was highly recommended, so we spent half a day with the indomitable Jeff McClellan and were not disappointed. MCSquared is a small high school in downtown Cleveland, a public district with virtually 100% free and reduced lunch students. Since opening in 2008 they have skyrocketed to the top of the Cleveland public school district rankings with their strong problem-based learning program and innovative partnerships with the Cleveland science museum, GE Lighting and others in local industry.

So this year, with state budget cuts pushing the district to do something drastic, they did. They cut the faculty at MCSquared 83%. The fired 83% of the teachers at the top- performing school in their district. Since the kids were not going anywhere, they had to have teachers. So the district brought in substitute teachers to fill those slots - people without content knowledge or teaching experience. Jeff McClellan is working his young, passionate talented heart out to bring these new folks up to speed on how to... teach... innovatively and in a problem-based learning environment. But ...

What on earth are we doing in this country?!!

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