Gates Foundation Gives $40 Million to Create New High Schools. (Notebook: Usable Education Information from Schools, Business, Research and Professional Organizations)

By Angelo, Jean Marie | District Administration, May 2002 | Go to article overview

Gates Foundation Gives $40 Million to Create New High Schools. (Notebook: Usable Education Information from Schools, Business, Research and Professional Organizations)


Angelo, Jean Marie, District Administration


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is donating $40 million to create 70 special high schools for the disadvantaged. Saying that the last years of high school are often "squandered academically," and that too many disadvantaged students drop out of high school, the foundation vows to create schools that will offer personal attention and "accelerated learning." The goal will be a smoother transition between high school and college, or between high school and the workforce.

The plan to launch 70 schools--each with small student bodies--is a partnership effort. The Carnegie Corp., the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will each be donating between $1 million to $2 million.

The money will be given to a mix of 12 education and non-profit organizations that will establish the new high schools. These new schools will focus on academic opportunities, allowing some students to graduate with college credits, or, in some cases, an associate's degree.

Foundation executives say this focus will reward motivated students who are economically disadvantaged. "We lose way too many," says Carol Rava Treat, public affairs manager. "The standard, overall graduation rate is 75 percent, but for African-American and Hispanic students, it is 50 percent. It is even lower for Native Americans."

Antioch University Seattle will use $3 million to design eight early college high schools for American Indian tribal communities in the Northwest. The National Council of La Raza will spend $7. …

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