School & District Management

Bard To Start Public ‘Early College’ In N.Y.C.

By Karla Scoon Reid — June 13, 2001 2 min read

A New York City public high school managed by Bard College will grant graduating students an associate’s degree in liberal arts and sciences, instead of a high school diploma.

The city’s board of education approved the Bard College plan last week.

Scheduled to open in September in an existing Brooklyn school, the Bard High School Early College is the brainchild of Bard College President Leon Botstein, an outspoken critic of traditional high schools.

“They will never get a high school diploma,” Mr. Botstein said of students at the new school. “I’m saying that in the long term, that that’s no loss. Their time is better spent in college.”

Mr. Botstein said he has always wanted to test his theory that students could bypass high school and accelerate learning in an urban system.

That theory is already in practice at Simon’s Rock College of Bard, where students are admitted after completing 10th or 11th grade to pursue college degrees. But Simon’s Rock is a boarding school for 364 students in Great Barrington, Mass., in the rural Berkshires.

Focus on Subject Matter

At the new Bard school, students will be taught a liberal arts college curriculum by professors with what Mr. Botstein called a “deep connection to the subject matter.” A fatal flaw of a high school education, he believes, is teachers’ lack of such knowledge.

Mr. Botstein, who also doesn’t believe in undergraduate degrees in education for teachers, said high school teachers are inadequately prepared to instruct students.

The school will serve 250 students in grades 9 and 11 to start, adding the remaining grades the following year. Up to 1,000 students will attend the school eventually.

Students will be admitted to the school by application, interview, and portfolios—but not by standardized-test scores, which Mr. Botstein calls an “inadequate guide.” He said the school would seek motivated and disciplined students who have strong family and community support.

While still a public school financed by state and local dollars, the Bard school’s budget will be supplemented by money raised privately by Bard College, which is in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

New York City Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy said Bard College’s decision to work with the 1.1 million-student district is a “vote of confidence in our children” and in the school system’s ability to implement innovative educational strategies.

“This exciting collaboration allows us to offer a unique option that ensures those New York City students who are ready and willing to engage in serious intellectual work have the opportunity to do so,” Mr. Levy said in a statement.

Mr. Botstein said he hopes the partnership will inspire other liberal arts colleges to follow suit. He added that the Bard High School Early College could serve as a model that could be replicated in other urban centers across the nation.

Coverage of research is underwritten in part by a grant from the Spencer Foundation.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 13, 2001 edition of Education Week as Bard To Start Public ‘Early College’ In N.Y.C.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management L.A. Unified to Require Testing of Students, Staff Regardless of Vaccination Status
The policy change in the nation's second-largest school district comes amid rising coronavirus cases, largely blamed on the Delta variant.
Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
4 min read
L.A. schools interim Sup Megan K. Reilly visits Fairfax High School's "Field Day" event to launch the Ready Set volunteer recruitment campaign to highlight the nationwide need for mentors and tutors, to prepare the country's public education students for the upcoming school year. The event coincides with National Summer Learning Week, where U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is highlighting the importance of re-engaging students and building excitement around returning to in-person learning this fall. high school, with interim LAUSD superintendent and others. Fairfax High School on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.
In this July 14, 2021, photo, Los Angeles Unified School District interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly speaks at an event at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. Reilly announced a new district policy Thursday requiring all students and employees of the Los Angeles school district to take weekly coronavirus tests regardless of their vaccination status.
Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via TNS
School & District Management Why School Boards Are Now Hot Spots for Nasty Politics
Nationalized politics, shifts in local news coverage, and the rise of social media are turning school board meetings into slug fests.
11 min read
Collage of people yelling, praying, and masked in a board room.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion The Six Leadership Lessons I Learned From the Pandemic
These guiding principles can help leaders prepare for another challenging year—and any future crises to come.
David Vroonland
3 min read
A hand about to touch a phone.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management Opinion When the National Education Debate Is Too Noisy, Look Local
A local network of your peers can offer not just practical advice, but an emotional safe harbor.
Christian M. Elkington
2 min read
A team of workmen on scaffolding rely on each other.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images