possible to provide each student with a laptop that works in any part of the building. The new $8 million Morgridge Middle School is the first school in the district built according to guidelines for “green” buildings.

Although other urban schools may not have all of these advantages, they can still learn much from DSST’s example. One state has already initiated a project inspired by DSST. The Texas High School Project, a consortium of the Texas Education Agency, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, has chosen DSST as one of its best-practices models. The project is creating 35 public STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) secondary schools.

“People ask about how expensive our model is,” says Greenberg. “It probably costs about 10 percent more per year than a conventional urban public school. But think about it. We had more minority kids [from DSST] going to the University of Colorado than any other school in the state. We also scored fifth highest in Colorado on the ACT exam. DPS, on the other hand, has a 50 percent drop-out rate. So which model is really more expensive?”

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