One of them is the High School of Recording Arts in St. Paul (MN), also known as Hip-Hop High. In the preface to Sam Seidel's new book, Hip-Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education, veteran alternative schools educator Herb Kohl writes:
The High School of Recording Arts (HSRA) in St. Paul is a bold and exciting attempt to build a high school rooted in this culture and based on performance, music and video production, community-based learning, the study of urban African-American youth culture, and the development of performer and community-controlled businesses. It also attempts to integrate more traditional academic knowledge into its hip-hop focus.
Seidel's book is the culmination of several years of active documentation and engagement with Hip-Hop High, its students and teachers. It's a fascinating account of the creation of a learning community tailored to the needs and interests of students and filled with caring teachers and a professional quality recording studio equipped with the latest in digital technology.
Here is just one more example of the power of the arts and other extracurriculars in teaching and learning. Hip-Hop High is trying and seems to have managed to make the extracurricular curricular.
Lots of lessons and questions embedded here for alternative and traditional educators alike, including how this unusual high school wrestles with such issues as testing, standards, and discipline.