Saturday, June 14, 2008

Interesting - small school experiment does poorly

Joanne Jacobs reports on a disappointed experiment with small schools:

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Oregon’s experiment with small high schools, which started four years ago, has produced disappointing results.
"Armed with $25 million from billionaire Bill Gates and other education reformers, backers of small schools heralded the academies as the best way to curb high dropout rates, forge connections to keep teenagers on track and prepare every graduate for college."
None of that has happened. Large high schools were cut up into smaller schools that produced similar test scores and dropout rates.

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One of the problems with government schools is many people are looking for a silver bullet to solve all the problems with public schools. But there is no panacea. There is no simple solution. Government schools have become a Gordian Knot. People lurch from program to program trying to finally "fix" the public schools, but things have only gotten worse over the decades. This is yet another attempt to find the "magic" solution that will once and for all fix the schools.

And the children in government schools continue to suffer.


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Technorati tags: government schools, public school, public education, education

4 comments:

Sebastian said...

Interesting, since I would have been one in favor of reducing the size of big high schools. Maybe part of the problem is that the smaller high schools that many adult remember were not only smaller but in communities with different family stuctures and different values.

christy said...

...and less government intervention. (sorry, continuing Sebastian's line of thinking.)

Henry Cate said...

"Interesting, since I would have been one in favor of reducing the size of big high schools."

I was surprised that the study found that smaller schools didn't performed better. Maybe by isolating the really good teachers and principals at small schools dilutes their opportunities.

Henry Cate said...

"and less government intervention"

And I agree that in general less government is better government. In the early 1980s I got hold of a 500 page report of the federal budget. Based on my understanding of the Constitution and the role of the federal governmnet I would have cut over fifty percent.