In Albuquerque, A Charter School that Recruits Drop-Outs?

Below is a link to a blog written by Anthony Cody, a member of the national faculty of the Buck Institute of Education who was on campus about a month ago with the rest of the national faculty team. I was pleasantly surprised upon reading this because  it does a thoughtful job of highlighting the middle space that we occupy in the education policy arena. I have been frustrated by the politics … [Read more...]

The New Mexico Center for School Leadership is launched

On February 17, we launched the New Mexico Center for School Leadership, Networking and Redesign. Our first formal activity was to host all of the new New Mexico charter school applicants for two days to help them imagine the most innovative solutions to design challenges they face. We were heartened by our guests’ passion for finding new answers to sticky problems faced by our public schools. … [Read more...]

Are You a Learning Organization?

“Will the students at your school be better off than the students who attend other schools in your community?” You should not start a school unless you can answer “yes” to this question. However, the truth is that new schools have little to go on when they make predictions about their future performance. Also, unless they make a deliberate plan to learn success, predictions will be crap shoot. I … [Read more...]

Ice Cream for Dinner

I have been reading a lot about the future of Career and Technical Education (CTE) lately and I must say that I do not understand where this sector of our public education system is headed. Maybe that is because I don’t know much about that world from personal experience. I never took shop in high school and the “Industrial Arts” classrooms were in a different wing of the comprehensive high school … [Read more...]

Why are student’s succeeding at ACE Leadership High School?

In 2010-11, the results of our short cycle assessments were staggering.  The number of students who became proficient in our inaugural year in Reading and Language Usage doubled from roughly 33 percent to nearly 70 percent, and Math proficiency rose from 7 percent to 81 percent!  In addition, roughly 50 percent of our students are re-classified freshman and all of those who completed the freshman … [Read more...]

Letter to the Community

August 4, 2011 Dear Friends, Families, Partners, and Community Members: ACE Leadership High School is proud to announce that we have had a terrifically successful inaugural year.  We have re-defined the role of public schools in Albuquerque by connecting the workforce development needs of the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) professions with the hopes and desires of local … [Read more...]

Building with Rammed Earth

This year I had the great fortune of getting to know some thoughtful charter school leaders from across the country. They were convened by the Partners for Developing Futures, a group that makes grants to promising charter schools who are led by people of color. I just returned from a trip to New York City where our group visited three schools that were in their early stages of development and … [Read more...]

Dinner at the Dismas House

This Fall I cooked and served dinner to a group of men who live at the Dismas House, which is a transitional home for felons recently released from prison. The residence is in Albuquerque and I have volunteered there for ten years. It is literally a religious experience for me because I do this work through a service group at my church. When I visit with the men at the Dismas House we usually do … [Read more...]

One year ago…

One year ago I was invited to sit in on the New Mexico Building and Education Congress (NMBEC) monthly board meetings. What began as a discussion about improving the “image of the construction industry” turned into a bold plan to become deeply invested in the workforce of tomorrow — a charter high school founded through a public-private partnership (contractors and public education) that can … [Read more...]