A great story in today’s Denver Post about the innovative program at the city’s Arrupe Jesuit High School. It is a private parochial institution that predominantly serves poor and Hispanic students, with significantly higher attendance and graduation rates than surrounding public schools.
The success of Arrupe Jesuit (also highlighted today at the Head First blog) is tied to its innovative Corporate Work Study Program, that requires every student to spend time working entry-level, corporate jobs to provide valuable experience and to offset tuition. Per-student costs are $7,500, compared to $10,000 or more for Denver Public Schools.
The report “Rethinking High School” by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation highlights Arrupe Jesuit’s innovativeness and success. As a private school, A-J doesn’t administer the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) to its students. But I would be interested to see its comparative results over time on the norm-referenced Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Arrupe Jesuit is certainly not THE way to do high school, but it appears to work very well for those families it serves. It’s a good reminder to keep working for public policy that expands access to innovative and successful education options for students and families of every color, creed, and income. Hurrah for freedom!