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Young Men's Leadership Academy - Exploratory Task Force

Overview

The Austin Independent School District (AISD) is exploring the possibility of opening a Young Men's Leadership Academy - a secondary school serving male students in Grades 6-12. The Superintendent has created a task force of Austin leaders to review an education plan for the school and a feasibility plan. The education plan will include information on best practices for academic success and leadership development for young men. The feasibility plan will focus on community and student interest, additional costs, and resource and facility needs.

Background

In August 2007, AISD will open the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. Backed by a $1 million four-year planning and implementation grant from the Foundation for the Education of Young Women in Dallas, the school will open with grades 6 and 7, adding a grade per year, with 115 students per grade. The school was designed by drawing on proven models for educating young women in Dallas and New York City.

AISD would like to develop a similar proposal for the education of young men, based on successful teaching strategies for young men and proven school models. The proposal would be presented to the AISD Board of Trustees in the Fall of 2007. If approved, it will open in August of 2009.

School Focus

In all but one AISD high school, the graduation rates for young men in 2006 trailed those of young women. In almost every high school, male students trailed their female counterparts on the college readiness and TAKS passage indicators for English/Language Arts. School discipline indicators also show many more young men as subjects of disciplinary procedures than young women.

The Young Men's Leadership Academy will have a college prep curriculum. It will focus on dramatic improvement in English/Language Arts knowledge and skills as a springboard to success in all academic areas. The plan will also include leadership development, service learning and student internships.

Appointed by Superintendent Pat Forgione, the Exploratory Task Force will review components of a district proposal for the school as it is being developed in order to provide the district with a sounding board of community leaders. The Task Force will respond to the plan's instructional and design components and will discuss potential financial and facility implications of the school's creation.

Young Men's Leadership Academy

Geoff Rips
Director, Foundation Development & Special Projects
512.414.0054