Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer visits the students of CAAT as they celebrate the completion of our first freshman class. This is an inner city high school we started to educate and inspire kids to futures of innovation, and mentorship from tech community leaders around Chicago is a key facet of the school. Having Steve visit as one of those mentors was great!
Now I can share: we’re hosting Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at our new high school today, visiting the students of Chicago Academy of Advanced Technology, talking about their futures and technology, and announcing Microsoft donations and support of the school.
Even more than an education gap, these kids had an inspiration gap.
It’s great to have the support of Microsoft, CompTIA and so many other local companies and organizations… when we started this inner city school I was most struck by how the kids responded to new stakeholders taking an interest in their lives, to inspire them to greater challenge, to learn to wield technology and people skills in a way that transforms their lives and their world.
A nice mention of our new high school by Sandra Guy in the Chicago Sun Times over the weekend… it’s really exciting to interact with many of these kids… a huge THANK YOU to all of the companies and individuals that have helped fund and support this new school. Much work to be done, but the second freshmen class is now being recruited!
<strong><a href=”http://www.suntimes.com/technology/guy/2221622,CST-NWS-ECOL01.article” target=”_blank”>Tech-driven curriculum powers new high school :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Sandra Guy</a></strong>
Entrepreneurs take risks and break convention. Everyone wants a creative kid, right? Jonah Lehrer shares thoughts on an interesting study…
… which looked at how elementary school teachers perceived creativity in their students. While the teachers said they wanted creative kids in their classroom, they actually didn’t. In fact, when they were asked to rate their students on a variety of personality measures – the list included everything from “individualistic” to “risk-seeking” to “accepting of authority” – the traits mostly closely aligned with creative thinking were also closely associated with their “least favorite” students. As the researchers note, “Judgments for the favorite student were negatively correlated with creativity; judgments for the least favorite student were positively correlated with creativity.”
This shouldn’t be too surprising: Would you really want a little Picasso in your class? How about a baby Gertrude Stein? Or a teenage Eminem?
I’ve never been very good a coloring within the lines, myself.
Last year we started a new high school focused on technology and entrepreneurship. CAAT is a public high school operated by private partnership with Chicago Public Schools, and we’re now recruiting our second freshman class. These are motivated kids from the inner city that seek a better quality education, one infused with mentorship and interaction from local technology leaders.
Funding for this school is dependent on the generous support of local companies, and two weeks ago we were able to announce a $150k donation from CompTIA, the global IT trade association based in the Chicago area. CompTIA’s donation is a challenge grant, with a call to other local companies and organizations to match and support their contribution to help solidify the future of CAAT.
Just over a year ago we came together to found the Chicago Academy of Advanced Technology, and the school became a reality for 150 freshmen in September. We drew kids from all across Chicago, there were no entry requirements, except a motivation to work hard and learn.
This is a new kind of high school in the inner city of Chicago, where kids have a chance to develop an aptitude that will transform their lives. The volunteers and donors of the Chicago tech community are critical to the success of this school, and will soon discover more opportunities to engage with the students.
… increasing the number of stakeholders in public education… giving private-sector leaders an opportunity to give back and play a role in public school education is a fundamental opportunity for systemic change.
A nice article on the evolution of CAAT, from and for the perspective of government tech leaders.
I hope to share some nice announcements about our new high school over the next couple of weeks, stay tuned!