There is a whole culture, a whole possibility of living without school - and people who did it not only were fine, they were better than fine. They were
awesome. They're having grand lives. They're entrepreneurs, they're traveling, they're going to college early. They're going to the same elite
colleges...There is no downside of not going to school. Just quit school and have a better life who would possibly think that is true?
That's the community you want to be a part of. But don't choose school because you think you need the high school credential to go to college. And, don't
choose school because you think you need to go there to learn your algebra and biology. You can learn everything that you would in school, outside of
- Young people want to learn. There exists basic human drive to learn and grow.
- Learning happens everywhere. People learn all the time and in all kinds of places. It doesn't have to look like school or feel like school to be valuable, and it's not necessary to make distinctions between "schoolwork" and "your own hobbies" or "for credit" and "not for credit." As one teenager who had recently left school observed, "Everything I do counts now."
- It really is OK to leave school. Many young people who are miserable in school - academically or socially - stay because they believe that leaving school will rule out (or at least diminish) the possibility of a successful future. North Star believes that Young people can achieve a meaningful and successful adulthood without going to school.
- The best preparation for a meaningful and productive future is a meaningful and productive present. Too often, education is thought of in terms of preparation: "Do this now, even if it doesn't feel connected to your most pressing interests and concerns, because later on you'll find it useful." When students figure out what seems interesting and worth doing right now -- is also the best way to help them develop self-knowledge and experience at figuring out what kind of life they want and what they need to do or learn in order to create that life. In other words, it's the best preparation for their futures.
eduInnovation and Getting Smart have partnered with The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation to produce a thought leadership campaign called Generation Do-It-Yourself (GenDIY)- how young people are hacking a pathway to a career they love - on The Huffington Post and GettingSmart.com. This campaign about reimagining secondary and postsecondary education and career skills will explore the new generation building a global economy and experiences that are impact driven and entrepreneurial. For more on GenDIY:
Tyler Nakatsu is Managing Editor at Getting Smart. Follow Tyler on Twitter, @post_west.