by Jason Lacoste
Originally posted on Cooperative Catalyst:
Work within the system for slow systemic change, or from without for idealistic radical change? This is one of the most exhausting choices facing modern alternative educators. I want to take a crack at how we might approach educational transformation from within a typical public charter school with all its focus on core curriculum and the drive towards college prep.
First, a quick “why.” College should be within the grasp of any graduating student, though I think it’s pretty clear that success and happiness in one’s life does not depend on it. Regardless, education remains one of the best socioeconomic equalizers at our disposal. Most urban dwellers – especially those of the not-rich variety – tend to have limited access to quality education. For example, here in New Orleans, your child is almost certainly either in a public charter school or a private parochial school (or not in school at all).
So, how do do we satisfy DoE-defined Grade-Level Expectations, appease the managerial preconceptions of a typical administration, and still create space for students to determine the direction of their own education?