Techie Parents Work to Reinvent School

A movement by former technology executives to found private schools that emphasize performance standards over content aims to educate young people to meet the demands of future jobs. One such school, Portfolio School, provides an atmosphere much like a workplace where the student is encouraged to use his/her curiosity to solve problems that revolve around "individualized goals and collaborative, Interdisciplinary projects." CEO Babur Habib, the cofounder of Portfolio School, asks, "if things are changing in the real world, why aren't they changing in the schools?" Habib goes on to say that content is available on devices like our iPhones, so there is no need for students to memorize information, but, instead the future depends upon young people learning how to apply that knowledge. He feels that "the creative process of taking an idea and then producing something out of it is ....important for the future."

Unfortunately, innovative private schools are very expensive and are only available to those who can afford the steep tuition prices - Portfolio School charges $35,000 per year. This means that public educated students are at a distinct disadvantage despite the many free online lessons. Teachers in the public schools are tied to standardized testing and that limits the opportunity for teachers to experiment. With such a gap between the private and public schools it is unclear whether these innovative educators with their tech-savvy backgrounds can find a way to make available the same type of education for all students, as they do for the wealthy. 

By: Nancy Rubesch