The New Mexico Center for School Leadership attempts to offer a new design for the teaching and learning experience via the Leadership High School Network.

The Leadership High School Network (LHSN) is a network of cutting-edge, industry-focused schools that are rooted in deep intellectual rigor and relevancy. These schools include ACE Leadership Highschool, Tech Leadership High School, Health Leadership High School, and Siembra Leadership High School. The LHSN functions to unify individual schools to propel innovation and ensure best practice. LHSN schools focus on promoting deep thinking and problem solving skills, and developing nuanced understandings through project-based learning. All LHSN schools are based on robust and active industries in New Mexico. The schools seek to provide students with the necessary skills to become successful professionals and meet the needs of our future workforce.

Leadership High School Network LogoThe design of these schools is grounded in a deep knowledge of industry from professionals, in the direct engagement with LHSN schools and students, and in research and expertise from the Center for School Leadership.

The Leadership High School Network is creating schools customized to the learning styles of young people in order to address the troubling graduation rates that have persisted between 60 and 70 percent over the past decade statewide. Leadership High Schools are successful in retaining 80 percent of students because the model appeals to tactile and experiential learners who need to learn from hands-on, real life projects in school. Schools in the network intentionally target the 40% of students who are currently underserved or not served by the traditional public school system.

“Opportunity Youth”

The LHSN is designed to serve roughly 2,000 students per year, graduating roughly 500 students per year when the schools are fully developed. We estimate that 33 percent or 165 of these graduates would be “Opportunity Youth” (otherwise not working or going to school). Below is our estimate of the impact of a single group of “Opportunity Youth” who have graduated and become gainfully employed:

fiscal impact

Fiscal Impact is based on the cost of government transfer payments (welfare) Social Impact is based on the cost of lost wages Source: “The Economics of Investing in Opportunity Youth,” Belfield and Levin

Schools that Propel the Growth of Each Member – The graphic below illustrates a series of schools that improve through their relationship with each other. The schools are autonomous but they share a common design. The inter-dependence we envision is illustrated by the teeth of the gears that are like programs that propel the forward motion of all the schools. Leadership development, cross-school student projects, teacher training, and developing a talent pipeline are just a few of the collaborations we envision going forward.