The Saturn School of Tomorrow in St. Paul, MN, opened in 1989 with grades 4, 5, and 6 and grew to a 4-8 grade school by 1991. Saturn was the most innovative school of its time and recognized widely. The school was an inspiration for the New American Schools Development Corporation competition and initiative in 1992, which was announced by former President George H.W. Bush when he visited the Saturn School. The Saturn School reform project is also a cautionary tale for school innovation, as the district ultimately abandoned the Saturn model, renamed the school, and adopted a traditional curriculum by 2003. This page will be updated as additional materials and artifacts become available.
"There's no place like school!", student video, 1991
Shelly Terrell Interview of Dr. Tom King, November 2, 2010
- The Saturn School of Tomorrow: A Prospectus, By the St. Paul Public Schools in cooperation with the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, the College of St. Thomas, and the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation
- What is Saturn School? By Tom King
- The Saturn School of Tomorrow: A story of educational reform, archive text of the section intros to the Penn State College of Education's former special website section on the Saturn School of Tomorrow.
- Remarks to Students and Faculty of the Saturn School of Tomorrow in St. Paul, Minnesota, by President George H. W. Bush, May 22, 1991
- Saturn School: Building from the Ground Up, column by Albert Shanker, New York Times, October 15, 1989
- St. Paul District Touting Saturn School As Model, Education Week, June 7, 1989.
- Saturn School of Tomorrow, SRI Research Team, 1993. During the 1992-93 and 1993-94 school years the SRI research team visited nine sites attempting to use technology in ways that support their overall education reform agenda. The Saturn School report found that technology has played multiple roles at the school, which was built on a philosophy of individualized instruction.
- The School of Tomorrow Today, By Robert Pearlman and Michael Hopkins, Electronic Learning, April 1, 1991. Photo essay of the Saturn School of Tomorrow.
- The Saturn School of Tomorrow (PDF), By David A. Bennett and D. Thomas King, Educational Leadership, v48 n8 p41-44, May 1991
- Designing the new American schools, by Bob Pearlman, Communications of the ACM, May, 1993
- Achieving Technological Equity and Equal Access to the Learning Tools of the 21st Century, by Curman L. Gaines, Willie Johnson, D. Thomas King; T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), Vol. 23, July 1, 1996
- Amid Publicity Over Declining Scores, Acclaimed Saturn School Faces Review, Education Week, July 13, 1991.
- The Saturn School of Tomorrow: a reality today, By D. Thomas King, T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), April 1, 1992.
- The Saturn School: Technology's Cutting Edge, by Michael Hopkins, Taken from The Computing Teacher, April 1991
- Is Saturn Coming Down To Earth? By Jo Anna Natale, condensed from The Executive Educator, September 1991
- Today at Saturn School of Tomorrow, By Rebecca Jones, from The Executive Educator, May 1994
- Rings Around Saturn, by Hallie Preskill, D. Thomas King, and J. Michael Hopkins, condensed from The Executive Educator, May 1994. The story of evaluating St. Paul's Saturn School -- told here from three perspectives -- is a lesson in the difficulty of school change
- "There's no place like school! This is a video made in the early 90's by students from the Saturn School of Tomorrow in St. Paul, MN. While the school exists no longer, these students learned skills which enabled them to be lifelong learners in the 21st century
- Shelly Terrell Interview of Dr. Tom King, November 2, 2010
- Rings around Saturn, By Hallie Preskill, Executive Educator, v16 n5 p43-46 May 1994. Describes difficulties of Saint Paul's Saturn School of Tomorrow from planner, implementor, and evaluator viewpoints. The plan for a citywide, ungraded, downtown middle school called for an extended school year and the latest technology in a completely redesigned building with 4 teachers, 4 interns, and 162 students. Teachers were overworked, test scores were low, and news media were critical.
Note: This page is part of a larger project to profile exemplar 21st Century Secondary Schools, New Tech and others, in the U.S. and abroad. This list will be expanded to include other New Tech schools and other exemplar 21st Century schools based on different models. Criteria for inclusion in this list are:
- School is exemplary in its practices, including project-based learning, assessment of 21st Century Skills, pervasive use of technology as a student and teacher tool, and use of online learning platforms to bind the school community together.
- School positions itself as a demonstration school through hosting study tours and executive tours and also communicates its practices through the school website.
- There are sufficient web-based resources -- articles, videos, research, and other documents -- to adequately profile the school.
Schools should contact Bob at email@example.com to be included in these exemplar profiles.
--Bob Pearlman, December 1, 2009