This article by Amadou Diallo in The Hechinger Report describes schools in Philadelphia that rely on project based learning rather than standardized testing. Unlike many such articles, it acknowledges the differences between schools with selective admissions and those that accept all applicants.
An unqualified success for these new schools would be results like those at Science Leadership Academy, a magnet school that is home to the district’s longest-running project-based learning program, which opened in 2006. The school combines rigorous research with student-driven projects that have impact beyond the school building. One student project involved putting on a city-wide Ultimate Frisbee tournament. In the 2016-17 school year, 99 percent of its seniors graduated, and 84 percent attended college immediately afterward. Algebra, Biology and English literature proficiency scores at the school are more than double the district high school average.
“Projects are really hard, collaboration is really hard.”
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