Sick of hearing stories about cuts facing K-12 education? Here’s a change: The nation’s most expensive public school ever will open its doors next month to 4,200 K -12 students. Robert F. Kennedy Community School located in Los Angeles cost an astonishing $578 million. Among the many features at this elaborate school are a public park, and walls covered in fine art murals. This new school does not come without some political resistance though. The district is facing a $640 million deficit causing almost 3,000 teachers to be let go and programs to be cut.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni recently published a report entitled “What Will they Learn?’’ The report tries to determine which four-year institutions are providing students with the best education. Letter grades were given out depending on whether core subjects such as composition and science were mandatory. You might be surprised to find Ivy League heavyweights such as Yale and Brown were given the lowest score possible.
A school in Alexandria, Virginia is taking a unique approach to conventional PE classes. Instead of having kids participate in gym during the school day, kids at this school complete their PE credit either before or after school. Students are given monitors that measure their heart rates and how long they exercise. Once a week they must meet with the PE teacher to load the measurements on the computer where their exercise for the week is evaluated. Sounds like a good idea, just don’t make it a statewide mandate.
Good news came early this week to the Cincinnati School District. Sixteen of Cincinnati’s low-performing schools made considerable academic progress. School officials in Cincinnati are crediting much of this recent success to the “Elementary Initiative” which required low-performing schools to implement creative initiatives such as new summer programs to turn around their dismal performance.