Fusion School

Chicago plans to open several high school-college hybrids beginning next year.

According to an article by Joel Hood at the Chicago Tribune:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped secure a $400,000 “challenge grant” from IBM that will lay the groundwork for as many as five new schools in Chicago Public Schools in 2012-13, each offering technical training in areas such as computer technology and engineering.

The schools are a departure from traditional vocational high schools because incoming freshmen could be enrolled for up to six years and leave school with an associate degree and specialized training. Graduates also will be given preference for entry-level jobs at IBM.

The first of these schools will open next fall. The city eventually expects to have up to five of these hybrid institutions. Advocates expect that while many students will go on to earn bachelor’s degrees, all students could be prepared for an immediate career upon graduation.

According to the article, the Chicago schools “will be modeled after New York City’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School.” That Brooklyn school enjoys partnerships with IBM, the New York City College of Technology, and the City University of New York. It’s a apparently very a popular institution, though because it only opened this fall the school has no record of success.

The Chicago school is supposed to open with 100 ninth graders.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer