Partial list of favorite high schools

A friend asked me for a list of the best schools to visit.  Here’s some of my favorite high schools, each with unique attributes and benefits:

Great applied STEM (diverse but moderately low poverty)

·          High Tech High , San Diego

·          Denver School of Science & Technology  

Blended: applied STEM + online (diverse moderate poverty)

·          NYC iSchool  (eSchoolNews summary), only 9th grade but good early example of blending applied and online learning

High poverty, International Baccalaureate

·          Uplift Education , Dallas TX

·          IDEA Public Schools , Rio Grande valley

High performing, low income, and replicating

·          Any KIPP

·          Bronx Lab, best of the ISA network

High performing, interesting (but a little selective)

·          Match Charter Public School, Boston, MatchCorp: residential tutors

·          Boston Arts (or Fenway next door, flagships of CES network)


·          Maya Angelou, DC (See Forever Foundation)

·          Seed Academy, DC, a residential school (should have one in every urban area)

·          Big Picture (flagship in Providence) and cousins Envision and BAEO

·          Kunskapsskolan (personalized Swedish network)

High performing private, good EdTech example

·          Cary academy

What did I miss?

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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