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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 30th December 2016 > SAVE US, BATMAN!


From around the world, a roundup of the best ideas for rescuing cities (no superheroes required)


CHARGE IT: To combat emissions from plants such as this one in South Korea, residents are given a carbon green card to track their energy use.

THERE IS a lesson about Hamlet on the whiteboard, maybe a day or two old, judging by the streaks that partially efface the names of Claudius and Ophelia. At one table, students play a game about financial literacy. At another, they leaf through newspapers. Down the hallway, rows of students sit quietly taking college placement tests, their hunched backs forming a phalanx of identical orange sweatshirts.

The orange isn’t a fashion choice but rather the uniform of San Francisco County Jail #5, where some 700 offenders wait as they wend their way through the criminal justice system. As they do so, many of them are participating in a potentially transformative experiment: the nation’s first, and biggest, fully accredited charter school within a county correctional facility. Instead of merely offering a GED certificate, Five Keys— named for the organization that opened the school in 2003—grants the same kind of diploma you’d earn at any other high school, in addition to offering counseling services that include meditation sessions and mentorship, along with college placement. (The test takers I saw were in the midst of placement exams for the City College of San Francisco.) Inmates on probation can continue to take Five Keys courses on the outside.

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About Newsweek International

Henry Orenstein fought adversity throughout his life, however, he saw the potential in a Toy that others didn't. Not only did Transform from vehicle to robot, they also transformed Henry's life. Read inside the full story, there is more than meets the eye...