White House adviser tours Metro high school academies - WSMV News 4

White House adviser tours Metro high school academies

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Metro high schools are again getting national attention and praise from top education leaders in the White House.

Two months after President Barack Obama visited McGavock High School, one of his top education advisers checked out three schools Tuesday to learn more about a program called The Academies.

Roberto Rodriguez came from Washington to walk the halls, listen and learn. For years, at Metro Schools the question would be 'what's wrong?' On this day, it was all about what's right.

"The reason we're down here is because we have seen a dramatic increase in graduation and a persistence through high school, so there's something happening here with respect to engaging students in learning and real world application of knowledge that I think we need to learn from as a country," Rodriguez said.

What's working is the academy-style of schooling set up seven years ago. Think of it as sort of school within a school. There are academies of health science for kids interested in medicine, academies of law if you think your future is in the courtroom, and other tracks in fields like communications, hospitality and even criminal justice.

"It gives you hands-on experience before you even go to college, so we're going to be at a higher level than kids that will normally be in college because we'll know how to do this stuff long before they do," said McGavock High School student Anna Hampton.

"It's getting kids better prepared to succeed in college and in future careers. And it also puts young people in the driver's seat. It's student-centered education and student-centered learning," Rodriguez said.

Joining the White House adviser on the Metro academy tour were 100 teachers and educators from across the country who came to learn more about program and why it seems to be working so well in Nashville.

There was also a visitor from the Ford Motor Company in Detroit who came with a check for $25,000 for Metro Nashville Public Schools as part of Ford's Next Generation Learning Program.

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