The bureaucratic mindset
Monday, Apr 7, 2014
* The Sun-Times and the Medill Data Project compared charter schools in Chicago to Chicago neighborhood schools…
Obviously, there’s very little difference here, which will cause some to scream “Then why do we need charter schools at all?”
I make no apologies for disliking the industrial education model. I prefer choice. I think people ought to have choices.
And, like with neighborhood schools, not all charter schools are meh. Some are quite good. Sometimes, experiments fail. We shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. What’s needed is an overall improvement in all schools.
First of all, that’s just not true or else lots, lots more would be done to improve the schools. Secondly, this over-emphasis on taking tests (with the resultant uproar over what are likely quite meaningless results) and driving kids to attend college is philosophically wrong-headed, whether in Chicago or the suburbs or Downstate.
* Don’t get me wrong here. I do not think kids should be discouraged from attending college, but why saddle a student with tens of thousands of dollars of debt just for the sake of having a so-so degree from a so-so university?
Why not foster the development of more high schools, charter or otherwise, that focus on tech/trade careers? Do you know how much operating engineers make?
* When a system’s entire focus is “100 percent college-bound” you’re not giving students nearly enough choices. Period.
Chicago has dropped its “zero tolerance” rules for those who cause a bit of trouble at schools. They realized that treating everybody and every incident the same was doing more harm than good. Schools do this all or nothing stuff way too much, and it always, always backfires.
Teach them to be good citizens. Teach them how to comprehend language and to do math. But give them choices in how to get there.