Scientist sets High Expectations for Milwaukee High School

Alan Borsuk:

High expectations. High performance.
It’s been that way throughout Patricia Hoben‘s life.
A doctorate in biophysics and biochemistry from Yale. Influential work as a science adviser in Washington.
And now: founder and head of a small high school on the south side, where low-income students are being pushed to commit themselves to two things: High expectations. High performance.
In its second year, many of the 140 students of Carmen High School of Science & Technology show signs they are making those commitments. And Hoben shows the traits that make schools like this succeed: Unrelenting dedication, clear vision, an ability to bring people together, and a positive outlook.
Hoben’s personal path to founding the charter school is definitely different from the personal paths, up to this point, of Carmen’s students, more than 90% of them Latino, almost 90% low-income.
That hasn’t stopped them from coming together. It’s too early to see definite results, but the school seems to have its act together more than many schools with such short histories.
Attendance is high, averaging 92%. There is a serious-minded feeling in classrooms and even (comparatively speaking) in the lunchroom. Kids appear to be on-task a high portion of the time. The dress code includes ties for the boys and buttoned shirts with collars for both boys and girls. The aim here is to give teens from an impoverished neighborhood something much like a private high school experience.