"By including examples of resolving the issues that arise in one high school’s creative journey, College Acceleration demonstrates a prototype for high school improvement that others can emulate."
—William J. Leary, School Administrator Magazine
College Acceleration draws a new conceptualization for high schools from the powerful nexus of research and practice found in the best research hospitals in the country. This new idea is applied to a new set of expectations for the twenty-first century high school where all students are prepared for college and careers. Dr. Ban details some key insights, like how to develop a system of innovations, build state university relationships for college programming that is affordable, accountable, and offers a pragmatic approach to high school strategic planning.
Dr. Ban’s experience in an educational business incubator and university faculty has provided powerful tools and understandings to support his current work as a high school principal. This front line experience with high school transformation has helped to detail this new research paradigm for high school from a practitioner's perspective. This book will give educators working within the charged climate of national standards and accountability for high school tools for transforming schools for the new century. The book includes reflections and questions for educators.
"Rarely do I find a book that I can suggest to all my friends. College Acceleration: Innovating Through the New American Research High School by Eric Ban is such a book. Those who are politically progressive or conservative will find this book challenging. Those who already know everything about education will learn something. Those who are fed up with books about education will discover hope.
Dr. Eric Ban is the principal at the Crown Point High School (CPHS) in Lake County, Indiana. His degrees are secondary to his vision and his experiences. His brief book should be read by members of the state legislature, every school board member, and most parents, teachers and students.
Some readers will find Eric Ban overly organized. Others may deny the novelty of this or that facet of his approach to education. The strength of this slim volume, however, is its meticulous organization within a framework of ordinary conversation. The reader discovers a structure for familiar and new ideas without struggling with the jargon of the education educator.
Most importantly, Ban’s system is driven by performance data without sacrificing important interrelationships among all parties to the educational process. Without the strident tone of a revolutionary tome, “College Acceleration” enlivens the discussion of how to improve education in these difficult times."
—Morton J. Marcus, Reporter-Times.com
"College Acceleration is at turns delightful, insightful, entertaining, maddeningly accurate, and frustrating. Ban makes us take a sometimes uncomfortably close look at all the assumptions and practices present in school that get in the way of kids achieving their dreams and reaching their potential. Part essay, part homily, part documentary, College Acceleration makes it clear what’s wrong with today’s high school and the path we must follow, not only to improve it, but to transform it. I highly recommend College Acceleration to any reader with an interest in understanding how to make high schools effective and relevant institutions."
—David T Conley, PhD, Professor, University of Oregon CEO, Educational Policy Improvement Center
"This book is for leaders who are passionate about transforming educational systems. Ban provides a powerful system reform framework and tells the transformation story through the lens of a school leader who has made it happen. Through his personal journey as an educational leader, he demonstrates that the power to transform resides with teachers and the school leaders who want to grow the craft of teaching while shaping the very systems that control what they do. He has created a model for building a network of schools where educators, the schools, and the network itself continuously learn and innovate."
—Naomi Norman, Co-founder of International High School, Ann Arbor, MI
"Lessons learned from Ban’s work at Crown Point will inform our goal of expanding learner-centered secondary school options starting in seventh grade through college for all Michigan students through the coordination of the college acceleration networks."
—William Miller, Exe. Dir. of the Michigan Intermediate School District Association
"Dr. Ban is a talented educator who offers a powerful, pragmatic and insightful approach for bringing big ideas into a school environment with one clear purpose—college and workforce readiness for all students."
—Dr. Mike Riggle, Superintendent, Glenbrook IL
"A must read by superintendents and principals as well as higher education and business leaders looking for a high school revolution. College Acceleration has inspired a movement to revitalize the economy in Northwest Indiana though high school transformation. Ban has laid out a plan to help others start a movement that is replicable."
—Dr. Peggy Buffington, former chair of the NW Indiana Superintendent’s study council and current Superintendent, Hobart, IN
Read part of chapter one here.