High Schools and Zip Codes

Saint Louis is famous for asking the question where did you go to high school? It is a simple, but complex class judging question that puts us in buckets. It is as though every high school is a monolith producing the same sort of graduate that can be judged by every person asking the question in the area. For some of our high schools, this producing the same cookie cutter "successful" graduate may actually be the case, but in the schools with the most opportunities for kids this can't be the truth. Another question less asked, but similarly condemning would be to ask someone in which zip codes did they grow up because unfortunately zip code is a greater predictor of ACT scores that most other factors. 

 

How can a district break the cycle on zip code and the where did you go to high school question? My guess is that it requires a classroom by classroom commitment to doing things different for kids. It requires moving from a culture of consumption to a culture of create, make, and design at our youngest ages through graduation. It requires a deep ownership of empowering student efficacy. It means thinking that Schools 1.0 isn't an option for Kids 2.0. Let's make sure that when our kids answer to what high school did you go it confuses the masses as the answer means that our kids are different, diverse, and hard to put in a box. Let's guarantee that no zip code is a "prison" number that confines dreams, limits possibilities or inhibits big ideas from becoming a reality.