Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sad School Story

Once upon a time (12 years ago, actually) an elementary school was built, in a small suburban neighborhood. The original teachers decided to do things differently, and wrote a charter, about teaching to the "whole child." These were the Clinton years. The school got its money directly from the State, bypassing the local school district. It flourished, and attracted kids from all over the city.
Times change though, and a new principal came, who was not so friendly to the charter. She believed in lots of assessments and No Child Left Behind. The little elementary school started to slip in quality. Why? The neighborhood got older, the original children had grown up, poorer children came for the opportunity, and many did not speak English.
The charter came up for renewal. All of a sudden the district stepped in with politics, scaring the younger teachers, and many voted to revoke the charter. There are rumors of massive pink slips to go out in January. The parents are shocked to find their efforts to rewrite the charter are being laughed at as a waste of time.
Will apathy prevail? Will tests make our kids into zombies who can’t think creatively?
To be continued…

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