Thursday, December 14, 2006


The high school I teach at is considered a "neighborhood school".

The city has a program called "School Choice". What it means is that students in 8th grade across the city apply to high school like one might apply to college. There are different high schools across the city that offer different things. Some might have a good arts program while others have a good science program. One might focus on ROTC while another on college prep. The high school up for applications often have entrance exams and GPA requirements. Some even require essays and personal statements. The competition is fierce and often students do not get accepted to the school of their choice.

That's where the neighborhood school comes in. The neighborhood school, like the one I teach at, is the fallback. It's the school that HAS to let you in. It is the school that you are zoned for and the school they will send you back to if you don't cut it at the school of your choice.

There are plusses and minuses to this program. The plus is obvious, there is more choice. If your local school doesn't have a strong theater program, you can go to one that does. If your child has an interest in technology, they can apply to a school that caters to students who do. Students can find their interests early and start working on them right away.

The minuses to the school choice program are what I see every day. A school full of kids that either couldn't or didn't try to get in to a better school. A school full of kids that are considered the bottom of the bottom. A school where the valedictorian has a 3.5 GPA and isn't sure she wants to go to college. A school that the smart kids want to leave and the others learn to resent.


Post a Comment

<< Home