The Atlantic’s recent article, The New Old Age, marks a milestone for CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org), an indication of the uptake of ideas and language we’d been working to develop, implement and disseminate for more than a decade. Written by David Brooks,...
The Latest from CoGenerate
A new documentary film, Ink & Linda, chronicles the unexpected friendship between Inksap, a Vietnamese-American street artist in his 20s, and Linda, a white modern dance teacher in her 70s. Shortly after a chance encounter brings these two together, they begin...
We’re out to show the world that older and younger people can help solve pressing problems when they work together. To that end, today we’re launching the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity, a partnership with the Ares Charitable Foundation to elevate...
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006
Accelerating middle school reform by benchmarking high performing schools
Following a career dedicated to improving middle level education, Joan Lipsitz helped form the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform–a group of diverse middle grades stakeholders that developed a common voice for speaking about the educational needs of young adolescents. As a part of that work, she helped develop Schools to Watch, a powerful school reform program aimed at improving middle grades education by identifying specific criteria that define high-performing middle schools, and then selecting schools that meet the criteria to serve as national models. The criteria include a rigorous curriculum for all students; high academic standards; varied instructional approaches to meet all student learning styles; sensitivity to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence; a qualified, diverse teaching force; and a socially equitable approach to education. Almost 100 schools in 14 states have been identified, and the program continues to add new states and new schools each year. Staff from hundreds of schools have visited the Schools to Watch, and many more have learned through tools and online tours developed by the Forum and the schools themselves. In addition, major education organizations that work with young adolescents and state departments of education have begun to use the Schools to Watch language and criteria in their own programs and publications, thus magnifying the impact of the Forum’s work.