Duncan said he was impressed by students and teachers at Aviation High School and would like to see a hundred more schools like it across the country.
"This is a model for the country, absolutely," he said, adding that the administration is interested in both charter schools and other innovative approaches.
State education officials see the school as an example of what they hope to accomplish if the state wins a grant from the competitive Race to the Top program.
Aviation High School believes that student success is maximized by relevant learning. Part of that relevancy at Aviation High School is of course found in the subjects we teach, especially those focused on aviation.
A separate part of our educational commitment is to use project-based learning whenever possible. Students learn as a team not only about the content, but about each other and working together, which in many ways can be just as valuable and relevant as the content. Work like this prepares students first for college, and then the real world, where they will need to work closely with coworkers and partners.
Aviation High School believes that the best way to learn is through hands-on instruction, and strives to include as much hands-on learning in its curriculum as possible. Our partners in the community are more than just names, our partners allow us to teach students with the real thing in front of them whether that's at the Museum of Flight, Microsoft, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, etc.
Students at Aviation High School leave ready to interact in a variety of work and study environments with versatility that few other educational strategies offer because of the connections to the world outside the classroom. We aim at every opportunity to foster that versatility and relevancy to the real world.
But Duncan's agenda in general and Race to the Top in particular are not geared toward this kind of school at all. Does he know this? What a phony snow job. What a bunch of liars.