KIPP co-founder and Teach For America alumnus Mike Feinberg recently wrote in the Huffington Post about the fundamental elements common to successful schools around the world. The post is based on his experiences visiting schools and talking with parents in countries as diverse as Mexico, South Africa, and Israel through KIPP's One World Network of Schools initiative. Feinberg highlights Mumbai's 3.2.1 School, a One World Network school founded by Teach For India alumnus, Gaurav Singh, as an example of a thriving learning environment where three key factors are in place. The following is an excerpt from his post:
When I look at successful institutions like the 3-2-1 School, I see they have three factors in common. First, there is generous investment in talented teachers. Great teaching is the single most influential factor in a child's education, and the best school programmes recognize that. They go out and win the marketing war to get the best teaching candidates into their classrooms, then they develop the teachers' skills and keep them on staff for the long term.
Secondly, the best schools have a framework of bottom-up change. By this I mean letting solutions bubble up from within the educational community, instead of having one-size-fits-all policies imposed from above. This might mean nurturing charter schools or public-private partnerships, as in the case of Mumbai's 3-2-1 School, and giving all public schools -- traditional and charter -- the freedom to innovate.
Finally, rather than treating college as separate from primary and secondary education, successful systems see them as different stops on the same journey. At the 3-2-1 School, students know from the day they walk through the door that they will be attending university, and their entire educational experience is structured to help them get there.
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