A High School Where the Students Are the Teachers

Alexandra Sifferlin:

If high school students took charge of their education with limited supervision, would they learn? A Massachusetts school is finding out.
“Some kids say, I hate science or I hate math, but what they are really saying is: I hate science class or I hate math class,” says high school senior Matt Whalan.
Whalan is writing a novel. That’s a notable feat for a 17-year-old, and he has a semester to finish it. Whalan is enrolled in the Monument Mountain Regional High School’s Independent Project, an alternative program described as a “school within a school,” founded and run by students. The semester-long program is in its third year, and Whalan has completed the program three times during his high school career and says it has saved his grades.
“I’ve been a writer all through high school, and my grades were suffering because I was devoted to writing instead of school,” says Whalan. Thankfully, that changed for him when a fellow schoolmate launched the Independent Project at the Great Barrington, Mass., school.