Winning Designs For a New Generation Of American Schools

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In July, the New American Schools Development Corporation selected 11 design teams that will spend the next year developing and refining their "blueprints'' for a new generation of American schools.

In announcing the winners at a press conference in Washington, Norman R. Augustine, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Martin Marietta Corporation and a member of the NASDC board, described the proposals as "the very best ideas in the entire country'' for reinventing American education.

Under the selection criteria, the winners, which were chosen from among 686 candidates, had to meet two requirements: First, their proposals had to help all students meet world-class standards in at least the five core subjects identified by the national education goals, as well as to help young people leave school prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment. And, second, putting aside the initial costs of development, the design had to operate on a budget comparable to conventional schools.

As part of the request for proposals, each design team had to:

  • Explain what they hoped to accomplish;
  • Describe their basic concept and how they would develop it;
  • Identify who would be involved;
  • Present research and experience that supported their efforts;
  • Include a credible budget;
  • Indicate how they would know if the design worked; and
  • Explain how they would persuade others to implement it.

The following descriptions of the 11 winning proposals are based on summaries provided by NASDC at the time of the announcement.

Winning Designs

ATLAS Communities

The Bensenville Community Design

The College for Human Services

Community Learning Center of Minnesota

The Co-NECT School

Expeditionary Learning

The Los Angeles Learning Centers

The Modern Red Schoolhouse

The National Alliance for Restructuring Education

The Odyssey Project

Roots and wings

Vol. 11, Issue 40, Pages 50-52

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