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Shaun Dougherty, associate professor of public policy & education, Vanderbilt University

I envision the school providing opportunities for students to imagine themselves as entrepreneurs who have the skills and knowledge to innovate and create solutions to advance their local and global communities. In a global economy where innovation and critical thinking are essential, I think Dre and Iovine’s proposed school could potentially become an exemplary school for other high schools throughout the U.S.

When students learn and do things in high school that they can apply in real life, it keeps them more interested in school and makes them more likely to graduate. It also helps students develop job skills that can improve their chances of finding rewarding employment and earning a good salary.

One of the best things about the proposed school is that it has a focus on a few areas of applied learning, such as business and design, with direct connections to industries that have a strong presence in Los Angeles, such as entertainment-related mutimedia design and business.

The Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy will be a model for the high school the two artists plan to build. Robin L Marshall/Getty Images
This is not Dre and Iovine’s first foray into education. Back in 2013, they donated US$70 million to establish the Iovine & Young Academy at the University of Southern California. The academy takes its name from Iovine and Dre, whose legal name is Andre Young. Current plans indicate that the new high school will have a focus similar to the USC Academy – which focuses on arts and design, engineering and computer science, business and venture management, and communication.

By focusing on information technology, or IT, as well as coding and communication, this school could provide access to things that students might not otherwise get.

Ideally, local industry leaders will partner with the school to provide rich work-based learning experiences, such as job shadowing or even paid for-credit internships. Such partnerships not only can help students build skills that will help get them jobs and college credit, but also help broaden awareness of college options and the kinds of jobs they can get.

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