Thursday, January 12, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Tofu Schools

CURMUDGUCATION: Tofu Schools:

Tofu Schools


The repeated claim is that charters and choice are necessary in order for students to have options and to be able to select from many different educational programs, which makes me wonder-- are public schools made out of tofu or some other featureless, uniform substance. When you slice a public school, do you uncover the same bland surface, the same unvaried material, no matter which way you slice? Is it true that the only way to find variety, choice, or selections is to set up charter schools?


I teach in a relatively rural high school, so we're not loaded with resources or money, and yet a student at my school can choose to emphasize music or the arts or attend our vocational technical school to learn welding or home health care. You can take a yearbook class to learn photography and design, or theater, or public speaking, or business technology. If you're interested in 3D printing or working in a basic-but-fun mass media lab, we can hook you up. In my department alone, we have a variety of pedagogical and personal styles; a student who passes through our building is bound to find one teacher in our department that she really clicks with.

We are most definitely built our of tofu.

In fact, I would think that our school, like most public schools, actually provides better access to variety and choice than a so-called choice system, because to switch gears ("I think I'd like to stop playing trumpet and start learning auto body repair!") doesn't require a student to withdraw, then 
CURMUDGUCATION: Tofu Schools:



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