College Launches New High School: Apply Now!
high school may be an outdated model,” suggests Dr. Leon Botstein,
President of the private Bard College, who has launched an ambitious
project with the New York City Board of Education (BOE): a four-year
school, grades 9-12, that offers students a chance to graduate
not with a high school diploma, but with an Associates degree.
structure of high school is essentially infantilizing,” continues
Botstein, explaining that high school is “anti-intellectual” and
does not give students the subject-matter competence they need
in today’s world.
Botstein is not a reformer; he is a revolutionary. “If this program
is successful, it will nothing less than change the nature of
secondary school education,” said Chancellor Harold O. Levy at
the BOE meeting where the partnership was announced. The revolution
is in the classroom and the partnership as well. “This is the
first public/private partnership of this sort,” said Levy.
pattern that I am advocating is earlier completion of college,”
says Botstein. The Bard High School Early College will have a
principal, Ray Peterson, for the ninth and tenth grades who will
teach the standard BOE curriculum. It is in the eleventh and twelfth
grades that things will be different. With professors and “no
high stakes testing,” classes will have more emphasis on “adult-
student participation,” says Botstein. Patricia Sharp, who is
currently the Dean of Simon’s Rock College in Massachusetts, Bard’s
35-year-old program teaching high school in this way, will become
the Dean of Early College component.
The school will open in September 2001 with 250 ninth- and eleventh-grade
students and will be located at 424 Leonard Street (in JHS 126)
in Brooklyn. Admission is by application, which will include an
essay and an interview, a process similar to college admissions.
Botstein encourages students and their families to apply to the
school. The admission doors are open and the school is actively
recruiting qualified applicants.#
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