High School Hooplah

The nation’s governors speak, and we all dutifully report what they say…over and over and over again: Governors endorse high school overhaul (Chicago Tribune), Governors Seek Rise in High School Standards (The New York Times), High Schools in Limelight for Summit (Education Week), High schools failing Generation Next.. (Stateline.org).

Everybody likes this cool new idea called "small schools" -- it's all the rage: In high school academies, going small is big (SD Union Tribune), Foundations Boost Giving to Small-Schools Effort in N.Y.C. (EW), Delayed small schools vote (Philadelphia Notebook), Schools-within-schools a growing trend (CNN), High school academies creating community Kansas City Star.

How much longer can small schools be treated as if they were shiny and new? And how many weeks in a row now of essentially the same high school hooplah can get covered? Apparently, there’s no limit.

The Gadfly’s blissfully skeptical take on it all is here: The blind men return (The Gadfly).

Of course, there are a couple of more engaging pieces out there on the topic: In Miami, Rudy Crew wants high schoolers to get a taste of what it’s like to be a working stiff: Let seniors learn (Miami Herald). In Houston, the news about high schools is not good: Half of HISD's high schools fail to meet U.S. goals (Houston Chronicle). On a more uplifting note, the ACT and Education Trust put out a report on high performing high schools that has some real-life examples: What High-Performing Schools Are Teaching (ACT/Education Trust).

A few more folks have now picked up on the fact that the Administration’s high schools initiative relies for funding on eliminating other programs: Bush seeks cuts elsewhere to boost schools initiative (Washington Times), Is Upward Bound Headed for a Fall? (LA Times), and Vocational Education’s New Job: Defend Thyself (Education Week).


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