Akron Public Schools has won school improvement grants, part of the federal stimulus funds for education reform, to help fund its plans for Buchtel High School ($1.2 million), the Akron Opportunity Center ($1.1 million) and Bridges Learning Center ($882,000). Here's what I wrote previously about the reform plans for these schools:
When the combined Buchtel-Perkins opens in the fall of 2012, Buchtel will belong to a network of 62 New Tech High Schools across the country that focus on problem-solving skills and computer literacy. Students will get laptop or tablet computers that will provide them 24-hour-a-day access to the school's online resources.
The teaching approach focuses on projects that capture students' interest and require them to draw on knowledge and skills from different subjects.
The district will pay New Tech Network $500,000 for a 41/2-year contract to set up the school, train the teachers and support the new computer technology.
Akron is applying to multiple sources for grants and hopes to compete for $5 million over three years for Buchtel, as well as for smaller grants for Bridges and the Akron Opportunity Center.
Bridges and the Akron Opportunity Center also will use the problem-solving lessons in science, technology, engineering and math developed at the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM school.