Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The perfect (sic) public high school

Credit to the Trenches of Public Education blog for this attempt at describing the "perfect public high school" - however, I feel this is just describing the private school I went to (Galloway). If you try your hardest, you can reasonably expect a G (a G was the equivalent of a B). For most classes you had the option of the regular class or AP, depending on your level of competence.

At Galloway, I know the Upper Learning principal would always teach 1 class per quarter - but why would someone working in a staff function need to teach a class? What makes sense is having the highest administrators teach a class, so having the principal, assistant principal, and maybe a few others teach classes in their core competency.

And we never had this problem of having to kick students out of class:
Every student is also under control when it comes to behavior. That doesn't mean that the students are all a bunch of little angels. That doesn't mean that there are no students who cut up in class or who talk too much from time to time. It does mean that students know that if they don't at least try to control their behavior, the teacher has the power to kick them out of class and the principal has the power to kick them out of school. Once again, because they know that--in other words because they know there are limits--drastic measures by teachers and principals are rarely necessary.

Now I do concede that my high school was a private school, so the comparison between her post and mine is more apples to oranges than apples to apples... but the point is that such an ideal high school does exist and is an attainable goal for most public high schools. But in a private school setting, how do you give "power" to those in charge so that they can make sweeping changes to improve the public school's performance?

One potential solution is having parents get involved, but it doesn't seem like the Trenches blog favors that idea. The middle ground would be if parents all voted to give a good principal more power than they currently have to make these positive changes (and then stick to those changes) so that there are more "perfect" public high schools.

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