A School which liberated its teachers and–surprise–greatly outperformed its competition

Brooklyn’s The New American Academy

December 20, 2011

On December 6, 2011, we have visited a school in a desolate Brooklyn neighborhood, The New American Academy. We do believe that there would be more Freedom Incs. if only our schools stopped churning out people who succeed through complacency and number crunching (it takes a lot to “reeducate” such people—who are the majority). Yet, we went there because this school’s leaders found many parallels in a way their teachers work and the way people work in the liberated companies.

Here is the school’s agenda in their own words:

The New American Academy (TNAA) is a model designed to revolutionize the current industrial educational framework. Engineered upon the tenets of collaboration, empowerment, reflection, and transparency, TNAA transforms the fundamental structures of schooling to promote a culture of learning and innovation for both students and teachers. 15% cheaper than comparable industrial schools, it is a bold solution intended to generate change system wide.

At the TNAA, teachers work in collaborative teams and students learn and explore in small, differentiated groups. With its four-person teaching teams, a mastery-based career ladder, and six year looping cycles, each classroom is driven to become a center of educational innovation. Moreover, through daily ninety-minute meetings and weekly reflection sessions teachers have the time to continually analyze and improve on their practice

But there is more. The school is unique because unlike other alternative schools it has been developed in partnership with the teachers’ unions.

You can find more on the school here

About Isaac Getz

Isaac Getz is an author, conference speaker, senior advisor and currently holds the post of Professor at ESCP Business School.

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