Select announcements, press coverage, and general updates about Powderhouse
Sora Learning Lab interviews Powderhouse Studios about the school design and approval process.
Alec explains his team's radical ideas for re-inventing high school, interwoven with shedding some light on the strange tale of trying to start a new, in-district public school.
Powderhouse “was fundamentally reconceiving the notion of school and how it was done,” said Paul Reville, the state’s former secretary of education. “The typical Innovation School changed a few things and didn’t change them that much.”
In a vote nearly seven years in the making, Somerville School Committee members decide Monday night whether to move forward with a new innovation high school.
Alec participates in a panel moderated by Steve Clemons of The Atlantic exploring the role of high schools and higher education in increasing the number of women in tech.
An op-ed saying that to really reinvent public education requires consistent, ongoing investments in new ideas—and only the state can do it.
At some point you have to say, "Would I rather someone graduate with a middling experience in four years or have them graduate in five years with a great experience?" It comes down to the difference between middling and great.
A brief video released after the XQ grant announcement about Powderhouse Studios, featuring the Powderhouse team and Somerville Superintendant Mary Skipper.
One of the most intimidating—but exhilarating—aspects of creating a new school design is the sheer audacity required. Design leaders must explore every assumption about what school “should” be, and in many cases, throw them out.
“The most pernicious word in education is ‘scale,’ ” Resnick told me. “The most sacred thing to us is attention, where adults can be present for young people, and where kids can do work that matters to them and is hard for them.” […] [Powderhouse's vision] is rooted in a very simple and old-fashioned idea: that a school is, at its heart, about relationships — “a roomful of people trying to learn something” — and that when schools fail, it’s because those on the inside haven’t had the time or space to talk and listen to one another.
When asked where and why the idea for the Super School Project originated, Ali explained it like this, "We want to make high schools back into the great equalizers they were meant to be."
“Sometimes it takes innovation to give people a glimpse of what education can be,” [Somerville Superintendant Skipper] said.
The ten boldest ideas to rethink high school receive funding and resources to make these schools a reality.
Just as libraries offer public space and resources for people to connect with books, the fab lab could be a nexus where people come together to learn and build with tools and ideas that are hard to find space for in a city like Somerville.
But the overall inertia and immune system of “education” is very strong, and if we were to disappear tomorrow, I’m not sure anything would be different than it would have been 100 years from now.
Some of the newcomers who invest themselves in community life are bringing with them new ideas. Sprout & Co. and Parts and Crafts, two organizations founded by [new Somerville residents] are challenging assumptions about how we learn.
Sprout co-founders hope to meet people in offices or homes, libraries, coffee shops, schools, or wherever a group asking to learn from them would prefer.