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View Diary: Charter Schools and the CREDO Report (218 comments)

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  •  I think you could do it (1+ / 0-)
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    tardis10

    We had a progressive educational system waaaaaay back when I was growing up, and there was the idea that you could have "tracks" within a school.  There were advanced math/sci tracks for kids who excelled at that, and similar programs for lit and languages and art.  The deal was that you had to qualify for the programs by first, having decent grades in the basic subjects, then by showing an aptitude for the track.

    And you're right, not every student could into a track they wanted to be in, but that would happen anyway if the track is moved out to a charter in an entirely different school.  If you have, for example, a performing arts track, and you add 2 each singing, dancing and acting teachers, you're now in a position to rotate those students in and out of those classes and provide more spots than you might have in a separate school.

    Most schools have already taken small steps toward this approach with AP classes and remedial classes, but very few have expanded this to include different areas of interest and/or ability.  It's an idea that could provide a small-school environment within a larger framework that provides economies of scale.

    •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

      That sounds fine, but I'm not necessarily convinced it would be cheaper to do that at every high school than offering it in a self-contained program and leaving other schools to focus on other things.

    •  You've made a good argument for bringing (0+ / 0-)

      the children from the 'arts' school into the mainstream school in order to economize.  The only thing lacking in your argument is an analysis of whether bigger is really better.  I don't have any statistics to back me up, but my personal feelings are that the larger the school, the easier for children to be lost in the system.  No mattter what the focus of the school is, I think we should be shrinking the environment, not expanding it.  I wish I had more time to address this.  Large classrooms with hundreds of kids in the halls every time a bell rings is placing a child in a really unnatural environment.  The sense of depersonalization becomes worse as the school gets bigger.  We need smaller and more personalized in our schools, not larger.  

      "..faith is believing what you know aint so." Mark Twain

      by nyskeptic on Wed Jun 22, 2011 at 03:56:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My personal taste (0+ / 0-)

        is for smaller as well.  I like villages, not cities.  However, this approach, if done correctly, can provide a small school experience.  You have groups of teachers who all work within the same areas, groups of students that all attend the same tracks of classes.  The class sizes are not dictated by this approach, but by district finances, and if you've saved money on infrastructure, you can keep the class sizes smaller.

        For a student in this environment, the experience is somewhat like having  a group of different schools all on the same grounds.  They see lots of different students, but they move from class to class mostly within the same group of kids, and work with the same group of teachers.

        Really, the only thing being consolidated are the physical plants and the things that support them.  Administration can be somewhat consolidated, but you can have an administrator in charge of each track.  There are a lot of ways you can configure a school like this, depending on finances,  and the end result you want to produce.

        A side benefit to this approach is that students get exposed to a wide variety of people this way, rather than spending their school years in a group that can sometimes be very similar in background, interests, and demographics.

        •  I like your approach and your thinking outside of (0+ / 0-)

          box.  I would go you one better.  What about small buildings for each track.  Just trying to push it along. :-)  doesn't necessarily mean a different school, but maybe a different building creating an atmosphere of small and taylored.

          "..faith is believing what you know aint so." Mark Twain

          by nyskeptic on Wed Jun 22, 2011 at 04:56:06 PM PDT

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