Future Focused Education began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a region where high school completion and transitions into college and careers prove a particularly difficult path for many young people, especially youth of color and underprivileged youth. In 2013, Future Focused Education founded the Leadership Schools Network, a network of industry-focused charter schools in Albuquerque that reengage students who have been underserved or not served by the traditional school system. As the Leadership Schools Network developed, intentionally targeting the nearly 40% of students off track to graduation, Future Focused Education’s work expanded to focus on two additional areas of importance: serving more students by expanding the work to schools and programs outside the Network and supporting schools to succeed through policy change.
As the Leadership Schools Network developed, intentionally targeting the nearly 40% of students off track to graduation, Future Focused Education’s work expanded to focus on two additional areas of importance: serving more students by expanding the work to schools outside the Network and supporting schools serving nontraditional students and disengaged youth to succeed through policy change.
Future Focused Education’s policy work became critical to the mission of re-engaging underserved students in their education, because while the Network schools successfully re-engaged and graduated hundreds of students who otherwise might have fallen through the cracks, the schools continued to receive failing grades on the state’s school report cards. It had never been more clear, not only do classrooms need to be remodeled to suit 21st century needs; the methods of measuring school success also require a renovation if we want the students who have not been served by traditional school to succeed on a path to college and career.
Fast forward from 2007, and Future Focused Education’s work has grown to include expertise and learning derived from our work with the Leadership Schools Network. We are now applying our learning over the last decade to school and program design in communities, schools and districts around the country.