Friday, February 22, 2008

Little Spartas?

Miss Self-Important meditates on the potential for improving outcomes for students in struggling schools:
The apparently successful school models like KIPP seem to be countering the chaos of children's lives by literally removing them from their families and neighborhoods through long school days and summer classes, and a policy of sending graduates on to elite high schools so far away from their homes that either they become boarding students, or the daily commute ensures that they spend little time at home. Practically, this in tandem with serious discipline might be effective, but how is it going to work in the long-term and on a broader scale? Are we going to turn the inner cities into little Spartas, where children are removed from their families and sent to live in communal military training camps? How is this education, effective as it may be in countering some of the worst tendencies of public schools, going to lead to the re-creation of functioning families and livable neighborhoods?
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