The first draft of our application to become a charter school has been written, minus a couple of appendices I’m wrapping up. Woot woot! Now we get as much feedback from our trusted advisors as possible before submitting. But things are coming together!
Back to the beginning
After writing up the school’s charter application, I feel like all the parts and pieces that have been jumbling together over the past 18 months are a bit clearer now, especially on how they fit together. Sticking to the philosophy that “why” you do anything is the most important question, I’d like to take the next few newsletters to build up a coherent answer to that for all of you, from why to how.
Part 1: What’s the Goal of High School?
Well, that’s a big question. And it’s not a question that has a single, clear answer. But if you start with the very simple observation that high school wraps up at precisely 18 years old, the age of adulthood in our society, then it follows pretty naturally that the goals of high school ought to have something to do with the goal of become an adult.
What is adulthood? Part of it is physical maturity, but time has a way of taking care of that with little intervention on our part. The other big piece, for humans as well as all mammals, is achieving independence to meet one’s own needs, rather than having those needs met by one’s parents. But unlike all other mammals, humans have a hugely diverse range of possibilities as to what form that independence might take! So in addition to growing into their adult bodies, and finding a way to become independent, people have a third element to figure out, and that is what sort of person you want to be and what sort of life you want to have. So adulthood = physically mature, socially and economically independent, and self-aware. How does this happen, and what role does school have in this process? Stay tuned.
24 credits and a D-minus average aren’t good enough, Washington Monthly on the transformation of a Connecticut high school from traditional learning and grades to mastery (aka competency) education.
A national teacher of the year on her most radical teaching practice, Chalkbeat on trust and responsibility, starting with one’s most basic needs.
Thanks for reading, especially since our TGIF came out so late this week! Glad I still got your eyeballs. Have a great weekend!