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Meg Whitman to Donate $2.5M to Summit Schools

The sum could swell to $5 million if other Silicon Valley tech giants also donate.

Rather than re-entering the political arena to make a stand, former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has focused her energy on education, starting with a $2.5 million donation to the Summit schools, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The former eBay CEO, who may be tapped as the new Hewlett-Packard CEO, announced the donation at Summit’s Rainier and Tahoma charter high schools in San Jose to an assembly of several hundred Summit students.

She also committed to contributing an additional $2.5 million in matching funds if Silicon Valley colleagues accept her challenge to similarly donate their own money.

"By investing in model educational organizations, we're making a down-payment on California's future prosperity," Meg Whitman wrote on her Facebook page. "One great student at a time."

There are also two Summit schools in Redwood City: Summit Prep and Everest High School. Summit aims to establish 10 more high schools by 2021 in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, with specific cities to been determined.

in Redwood City since its inception, with the acclaimed documentary “Waiting for Superman” following one student’s success through the high school.

Education researchers and experts have championed the charter schools, which have consistently received high test scores, and numerous academic achievements. This year, Newsweek ranked it one of the in the nation. In another Newsweek ranking, Summit Prep was ranked the 132nd best school in America, the top 1 percent of schools.

Students are enrolled through a lottery system, and the schools have helped land students all at similar points of success.

The Summit schools can boast statistics such as 100 percent of their students are eligible to apply to college, in contrast to 25 percent of California students.

Executive Director Todd Dickson highlighted the small maximum class size of 25 as crucial to really getting to know the students.

“We’re teaching them how to be teachers to each other, rather than just letting them copy each other’s homework,” said teacher Brian Johnson.

“Simply, we design a school that sets teachers up for success,” said Summit’s Executive Director Todd Dickson. “The result is that we get unbelievable teachers.”

Jack Hickey September 22, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Is there a battle brewing between Charter school advocates? Sally Stewart's Big Picture Learning model http://redwoodcity.patch.com/articles/proposed-charter-school-focuses-on-big-picture and Meg's promotion of Summit? Or, can both be accomodated? And, which one promises to cut the cost of education by getting out from under the archaic EdCode and unsustainable union contract's?
John Foley September 24, 2011 at 07:38 AM
Too many teachers do not realize they can opt out of union membership. Unions are supposed to let members know this on a yearly basis. This was a court order. It is always ignored. Meg is wasting her money. The CTA chose to support Boxer one time (not the most recent run) even though the opposing party's candidate had not even been named!! Lock step thinking right arm extended.....get it?
Jack Hickey September 25, 2011 at 03:49 PM
John, citations please.
Mary McLinden August 19, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Too bad Meg didn't think to donate her money to non-charter public high schools where it is REALLY needed...

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