Are schools doing too much for kids and none of it well?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I began working after school as a waitress when I was 13 and continued through graduate school. I realized quickly that restaurants offering limited menus were a better bet than those that tried to be all things to all diners. When you saw both fettuccine alfredo and fried rice on the menu, you could pretty much be assured that neither would be very good.

Is the same true for schools?

Are schools trying to offer too many things for students and, as a result, doing none very well?

I spent three hours tonight chaperoning freshmen float building for this weekend’s homecoming. A few days ago, I went to a meeting where a social studies teacher explained how students can qualify for an April trip to Washington, D.C. Afterward, I attended a program by the counselors on how they assist students in their academic, personal, emotional and career development. And I went to two volleyball games.

All this stuff goes on every week in every high school in Georgia. American schools are unique in the time, energy and money devoted to non-classroom activities.

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