Superlatives in Innovative High Schools

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Remember these superlatives from High School? While my goal in this post is not to argue for or against superlatives, I do think we ought to refresh them a bit and bring them up to “Innovative High School in 2017” speed.

What would superlatives look like at a place like Energy Institute High School, where students work most of their day on integrated energy-focused projects aimed at identifying solutions for real companies and organizations? Or at High Tech High, where students have real agency, voice and autonomy in their learning? Or at One Stone, where students literally lead the board meetings and already have great responsibility and ownership?

The superlatives would certainly be a lot more focused on quality of products and character than they would be on appearances. They would include habits of excellence such as grit, persistence and integrity. They would include more recognition for great project work and management.

As we (or at least some of us) near the end of the school year, now is a good time to reflect on what you’d want your students to earn as a superlative. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started (or download it here):

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Emily Liebtag

Emily Liebtag, Ed.D., is Education Reimagined's Senior Partner for Systems Transformation. Formerly, Emily served as the Vice President of Advocacy at Getting Smart.

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