Calls for Revamping High Schools Intensify
From President Bush on down, the pressure is on to fix America’s high schools. But despite a broad consensus that something is seriously wrong with the institution, deep fault lines remain about the remedies.
“It’s like saying we have to fix global warming or obesity,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., the president of the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. “From 30,000 feet, you can easily agree that there’s a problem, but the closer you get to it, the more you can see that different people’s views of the essence of the problem and the solution are very, very different.”
Part of the reluctance to address high schools has been their complexity. Elementary pupils generally don’t drop out of school. Nor do they hold part-time jobs or often engage in risky social behaviors that interfere with their homework. And the sheer size, departmental structure, mission creep, and other political impediments at the secondary level have made it hard for reformers...
This article is available to subscribers only.
To keep reading this article and more, subscribe now or start a 2-week FREE trial.