Friday, February 10, 2006

When is a K-8 school not a K-8 school

I've been trying to get my head around this concept in the Pittsburgh Public School's plan to "Right Size" -- but -- how right is it to claim a school is K-8 when it isn't K-8?

Is the plan to right size and wrong name?

It seems to me that a new agenda for getting schools that educate students from grades K to 8 should have classes of each of those grades. And, if there is research that shows that there is an educational benefit to these schools that are K-8 -- but we only call them K-8 and really have two schools, one K-4 and the other 5-8, (or whatever ), then can we expect that the educational advantages might be absent too?

I sorta like K-8 schools and the concept that they bring to a city and family. But, if I send my kids to a K-8 school and one child is in grade 2 and the other is in grade 5, and they are in different buildings, then this is not a K-8 school.

The trap that the school district falls into -- as well as with other public organizations -- is to look at the world from their perspective. It is more about the kids, the families, the tax-payers, the general community. If one principal covers two buildngs, fine. But don't expect to sell the idea that those two buildings make one K-8 school. For a parent who drops off and picks up kids at two buildings, it isn't one K-8 school.

So, my question within this post deals with the coupled schools. Where are they in releation to each other?

Next we'll be snookered into a notion that PNC Park and Heinz Field are really one stadium. Yeah, right.

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