Jennifer Pieratt's Learning Story


My name is Jennifer Pieratt and I am a 10th grade teacher at High Tech High North County in San Marcos, CA. I believe that it is the duty of our nation to provide equal access to a high quality education for every child, regardless of the neighborhood in which they live, parental education, socioeconomic status, ethnicity or primary language spoken. I was initially attracted to the ideology of High Tech High, which ensures that all students would function under a common intellectual mission. This design principle was created by the founders of the school to provide an equitable education through a detracked learning environment. As a current student myself I have read the extensive works of Jeanie Oakes on the dangers of tracking in schools and I have experienced first-hand how valuable a learning environment can be when all students are provided equal access to curriculum. HTH follows an Inclusion Model, which means that students are not pulled out for additional support, but instead teachers are required to truly differentiate their teaching and offer different levels of support to access the curriculum. I have seen all students benefit from this model, as I believe that each child has value experiences that others can learn from through interaction that would not be achieved in separate tracked classrooms. I have seen students learn to be compassionate individuals, develop social skills that are necessary to work with others and push themselves to new levels by being in a detracked classroom. I believe that rethinking the comprehensive high school model and restructuring our schools can ensure equal access to high quality educational experiences for all students. This will no doubt be a challenge, but policy makers, teachers and administrators can work together to create these learning opportunities that our children deserve!