High Schools as Launch Pads

On December 2, 2008, a group of policy leaders and successful education practitioners convened at the Aspen Institute for the release of College Summit’s white paper on building a college-going culture in high schools .

The discussion focused on the importance of building a college-going culture in high schools, and the policies that will make that happen. “Schools need to stop seeing high school graduation as their ultimate goal and start seeing their purpose as serving as a launch pad for college and career success,” J.B. Schramm, Founder and CEO of College Summit and co-author of the white paper, told the group, while outlining the urgent need for critical mind shifts to dramatically increase the number of young people going to college.

Read the White Paper

Read the summary


Remarks from Roundtable
“I have never met a parent in my life that actually didn’t care about [their kids going to college], but I have met thousands who had no idea how to do this.”

- John Deasy, Deputy Director for Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


“Once you create these kinds of structures [for high schools to be high performing] which are becoming much more common in reform orientated schools, you still then have the challenge of helping counselors teach teachers to do the work their doing to facilitate the work of going to college. This doesn’t happen magically. College Summit has helped play that role in schools.”

- Linda Darling-Hammond, Co-Director of the Stanford University School Redesign Network


“I’ve heard sometimes people say college isn’t for everyone. I don’t disagree with that, but it should be a choice, so if you get the college acceptance letter in your hand and you choose not to go that’s fine. But, you should have the choice of going or not going. Miriam Nightengale, Principal of Martin Luther King, Jr., High School for Law and Advocacy. We’ve actually really wanted to make college going and data on college going a key performance indicator that could be used to drive student culture…however we haven’t been able to do that in most places because those systems are not available. If we had that data available and used it, it could drive a transformation in data driven instruction and school culture in our high schools.”

- Jon Schnur, Co-Founder and CEO of New Leaders for New Schools


Supported by MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation supports education, health, civic and cultural organizations throughout the United States.  It seeks to increase opportunities for young people to succeed, give students and teachers a voice in improving education, create connections between schools and communities and develop leadership.  Its funding for education is informed by findings from the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher.

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