We learn through projects. We see the deepest forms of understanding coming from this relentless, hopeful, impatient pursuit of learning in the world, with the world, and with one another (paraphrase Paulo Freire): We learn by noticing what matters to students, posing meaningful questions, making sense of our world, and working to transform it.
Over the past 20+ years, we’ve learned, given the right conditions, that young people can do some of the most original, authentic, and creative work imaginable. We’ve learned that rigor cannot exist without engagement, exemplars, ownership, audiences, courage, dreams, joy, purpose, and yes: FUN–for students and adults!
The American system of schooling (est. 1893) was designed, not as a great equalizer, but in fact, has served to reproduce the social caste that created it. At the turn of the 20th century, in the era of industrialization, eugenics, Plessy v. Ferguson, mass lynchings, and Birth of a Nation being previewed in the White House, the American way of schooling was born with: narrow views of learning, narrow views of human potential and intelligence, and narrow views of people.
We together are here as an expression of joyful resistance to the American school.
I am Kaleb Rashad, one of many who love and represent the spirit of HTH. My ancestors from David Walker and Carter G. Woodson to Mary McLeod Bethune and bell hooks fought, not for American schooling, but rather for education as the practice of freedom. We talking about deep literacy, FAM: learning to read the world, resist dominant narratives, and reclaim the birthright of our ancestors to be here, to feel and act, to speak truth to power, to love and know thyself, & have standing in the community.
In loving solidarity,
Dr. Kaleb Rashad was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer for an interim period beginning December 16, 2021, through December 2023. Kaleb holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Development, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate in educational leadership focusing on relational trust and organizational change. Kaleb is the Co-Founder & Creative Director at the Center for Love & Justice located within the High Tech High Graduate School of Education (HTH GSE). Kaleb works with community leaders in the US/Canada, Spain, and Hong Kong to create new schools and redesign existing schools focused on advancing equity through Liberatory Project-based learning.
Kaleb is a former director of the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High. Prior to joining HTH, Kaleb served as a principal in elementary and middle school settings in Moreno Valley and Poway. Kaleb taught middle school math, science and English Language Development before becoming a school principal. Before starting his career in education, Kaleb served honorably in the 1st Force Services Support Group, located in the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (USMC) at Camp Pendleton, CA.
Kaleb enjoys hiking, camping, anything outdoors, live blues and jazz, soul food, performance art, and reading with his boys and wife. You can always see what he’s up to on…TWITTER: @kalebrashad.