-Hannah Mead, MCPP intern, 2008
The new education budget that passed both chambers removes Detroit Public Schools’ veto power over charter schools. A lot of people are peeved. Rep. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, claims,
Public school academies have been cherry-picking the good students … (adding to) the death spiral of the Detroit public school system.
This reminds me of a public school teacher who accused me in a “how could you?” tone of having “lowered the lowest common denominator” by being home-schooled. (Irritatingly, her mathematical metaphor has absolutely no applicability to her point — I’m glad I learned math from my mom instead.)
How could I? How could she suggest I ought to have sacrificed myself to somehow “level out” public education? I don’t see how my languishing in public schools for nine hours a day learning nothing* would help, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t have stayed anyway — I rather enjoyed getting my schoolwork done in a couple hours and having the rest of the day to play, tyvm.
Fundamentally, good students leaving a school lowers the average test scores, sure, but that statistic doesn’t mean their leaving hurts the poorer performers. (If anything, according to prevailing school-people wisdom, smaller class sizes would help, as might the ability to focus on a group of students with similar aptitude and difficulties.) The goal of a school should not be to look good statistically — it should be to improve the education of each student.
*I must amend this. In my three years at public school I learned two things: what a cylinder is and that Y is sometimes a vowel.