From White House Press Site
"Driving Innovation and Expecting Excellence
America’s schools must be incubators of innovation and success. Where charter schools are successful, states should be challenged to lift arbitrary caps and make use of successful lessons to drive reform throughout other schools."
[NOTE OF IRONY - Illinois is one of 26 States with an arbitrary cap on Charter Schools and Chicago, where Education Secretary Duncan was Superintendent, has reached its Charter cap and thousands of low income Black and Hispanic kids are condemned to failing Chicago Public Schools. But I digress...]
President Obama is correct - there is a remarkable amount of innovation and success taking place in American education - most of it outside of the public school system.
Charters and private schools are the pioneers, typically driven by parents who want their children to have a 21st century education and quickly realize it can't be found in public schools.
Juliann has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and graduate degrees from Stanford, Columbia and the University of London. She has been an entrepreneur her whole career. And with a young daughter who she wants to be educated to 21st century standards, Juliann is now an educational entrepreneur by necessity.
Like most of the most innovative Charters and private schools, Juliann puts her limited capital into hiring great teachers, not into physical facilities. Renaissance School leases space from a church in a very modest neighborhood.
But the education being delivered inside these humble walls is anything but modest - children at 5, 6 and 7 learning at the highest levels globally. Here's a look at the curriculum:
K – 5th -- Singapore Math1A – 6A (all Textbooks, Workbooks, Extra Practice books, Intensive Practice books, Challenging Word Problem books)
K – 2nd - Over 50 topics including creativity, atoms, periodic table, internal organs, how car brakes work, gravity, how a pump works, etc.
Grade 3 – Grade 5 Real Science for Kids - Chemistry, Biology, Physics plus additional topics (including liquid density, measuring tools, etc.)
Curriculum inspired by Stanford ME creativity courses and developed at Renaissance
ENGLISH (reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary building)
K – 1st -- Saxon Phonics and Spelling 1 and 2 (including all handwriting) and Grammar Practice
2nd – 5th — Modified Sonlight English 3 – 6 including grammar, Wordly Wise 3000, Spelling Power, Real Science For Kids Connections to Language
1st - All US Presidents and other basic facts about US
2nd - 5th — Modified Sonlight History 3 – 6 (US history, Eastern Hemisphere, etc.)
1st - 5th All countries of the world, all continents, all oceans. Basic facts.
MANDARIN CHINESE (students taught to read, speak and write)
K – 5 Stanford Chinese School Curriculum + supplemental material
SPANISH (students taught to read, speak and write)
1st - Sube + supplemental material
2nd- 5th Mexican Government Spanish Curriculum G1 – G4 + supplemental material