I just read a great article about a public high school in Boston that makes a class called “Ventures” a requirement for graduation. All their students must take a class the involves writing a business plan and pitching it to business people as well as pitching themselves to a local company for a 6 week internship.

It is refreshing to see a public school giving its students a real education. Not just teaching to the test as all schools seem to do this day. Not just making do with the curriculum provided by the state and teaching the minimum, which is why more than 80% of high school students can not locate France on a map, let alone Iraq.  This school is giving kids a taste of what it is like to be in the real working world. The kids must research their business in order to write the plan. They must talk to real live businesses and get information for the competitive research. They must think about real life things like cash flow and loans and legal implications.  They even have to show up to their presentations in business attire. The kids will get a little taste of what it takes to be taken seriously in the real world. They may also get a little taste of what it can take to actually start and run a business. They are getting information and experiences that even most college kids don’t get.

I applaud Fenway School in Boston. Hurray for teachers who actually want to equip our kids with tools for the real world. Hurray for teachers who actually want to teach important relevant stuff.  And hurray for the students that get this opportunity!

AvatarSabrina Parsons

Sabrina has served as CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007.