(Update: here is a link to the original story I found on this district that mentions the Gates Foundation grant.)
Looking around here and there, I happened on this school district in Boulder, Colorado. Mapleton is a district of just under 6,000 students that had found itself floundering. In 2006, their superintendent held a series of public meetings to talk revamping the schools - all of them. With the help of the Gates Foundation, they created 17 new schools up from 7. They attract teachers who are excited about this new and more diverse (at least in teaching approaches) district. What do they have?
-a PK-6 Montessori
- a K-6 elementary with hands-on learning and same teacher for 2 years
- a traditional K-6
- a K-6 that is "gifted and talented learning for all"
- a K-12 school for IB
- another K-12
- a 7-12 arts school
- 9-12 college prep with optional 13th year to gain an AA degree
- an 18-20 young adult school to help those students finish high school and work towards college
None of these schools are charter and yet, they are not cookie-cutter schools. I was just dumbfounded by their offerings. I think many parents here would love it.
Are their scores way up? No and they started at a low level but their enrollment is up.
I wonder what Arne Duncan would say to this district about Race to the Top money.