Category Archives: Acton Academy Expansion

More Acton Academies to Open in the Fall of 2014

Acton Academy Campus

We closed the first round of the Acton Academy expansion contest, awarding the right to open Acton Academies in London and Washington DC and two more AA’s in Austin (North and South.)

A second round of the contest will close in March 31st, with the possibility of adding a few more schools to the mix next year.

The more Acton Academies, the more experiments we can run. As we’ve learned from Acton Academy Guatemala and Southern California, all of this speeds up the disruption of the status quo.

Influencing the world

“Oh great. No pressure. It’s just that the whole future of education depends on us.”

Yes, it reads as a little snarky; even a bit sarcastic. But the tone was much more accepting; more like the recognition of a serious truth.

We don’t talk about it much, but deep down our Eagles know they are leading an important experiment; a bold experiment that just might change the world.

acton 10.8.13

Pictured above is Paulette, a visitor from one of the most disruptive education companies in the world.  She came to Austin to see Acton Academy for herself.

Paulette watched the elementary and middle school Eagles in action: launches; Socratic discussions; preparing for this week’s exhibitions.  Then she convened a focus group.

One by one she heard strong statements about the importance of having the freedom to control your own education.  And then one that was heartbreaking, when Paulette asked about failure at Acton compared to other schools:

from an elementary school Eagle: “Failure at Acton is part of what we do: heroes fail early, cheaply and often.  At my old school, the three students who scored the lowest on a test had to go and sit in the bathroom, on the floor, and think about why they were failures.  The three students with the top scores got candy.”

Sometimes we forget the great wrongs done to little heroes by adults, and the grace with which they bear them.

So what did Paulette think about Acton.  Her parting words: “Even after this short exposure I know I would have loved for my own children to have experienced the learning environment at Acton.”

The whole future of education depends on a determined band of Eagles?  Yes, it just might.  And that’s what gives us hope for the world.

Spotted: an Entire Colony of Bigfoots!

Reported in today’s Edsurge is the sighting of Bigfoot – defined as “spotting kids learning at their own pace.”

According to the article, students mastering skills at their own pace is so rare that few educators can claim to have “seen it in the wild.”

Seriously?  Lots of what we do at Acton Academy is hard.  But convincing Eagles to soar at their own pace isn’t one of them.

So for those of you who like to chase legendary creatures, here’s an entire colony of Bigfoots.

photo (465)

Perhaps next we’ll go in search of the Loch Ness Monster – Eagles guiding Eagles without an adult in the room.

PS.  If we went looking for educational Unicorns next, what would these beasts represent?  Extra credit for the best submission. (Whoops, I forgot that Guides don’t award credits.  Must be the influence of a misspent educational youth.)