BiF-4 Insights – Dennis Littky – The Big Picture Company

by Braden Kelley

Dennis was doing a great job as a high school principal in New Hampshire (dropout rate down, college rate up), but then a new conservative board came in and fired him for doing the same things that made him successful.

There a was a big drama over this and a book was written and titled “Doc” which unfortunately turned out to be the title of a book about a serial killer that came out at the same time, so the book was renamed “Teacher” and then years later, renamed to “Doc” again.

A movie was made from the book:

Then he was hired to create a new high school approach at the Met High School in the Providence area:

  • What’s best for students? (Our mantra)
  • What would school look like if we closed our eyes and designed one from scratch
  • Classes three days a week and internships in the community on the other two days
  • The Gates Foundation then became aware of our school, visited and then asked him to create another 15 schools and funded their creation, then they came back and gave more funding for more schools
  • There are now 72 schools around the world (mostly in USA, but also seven in the Netherlands and two in Australia)
    • We were also asked to do a high school in Liberia

Now we are looking at re-imagining the college because of the high college dropout rates among minorities

  • Going to call it College Unbound
  • Partnering with Unity College

For more information on the talk, go here.

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