Thursday, May 12, 2005

Best high schools: only 4 in Tennessee

Newsweek magazine's cover article this week is about the best 1000 public high schools in the US. Sadly, Tennessee has only four of those top 1000.

Those four are:
#339--Brentwood High
#360--Oak Ridge High
#621--White Station (Memphis)
#812--Hillsboro High (Nashville)

Troubling for me is the emphasis on how prepared these students are for the "workforce" as is mentioned several times in this series of articles. Being able to meet the needs of employers shouldn't be the major factor in deciding what consitutes a successful education system. Is the system designed to meet the needs of employers or students? Some, like John Taylor Gatto, a former NY State Teacher of the Year, say yes. I'm reminded of the Metro Nashville Public Schools guarantee.

"Recognizing that the economic well-being of our community depends on a skilled workforce, Metro Schools offers local business and industry a guarantee for the
skills of its graduates. Employers of Metro Schools' graduates who find that their
employees are in need of additional training in basic skills may refer that person
back to the system for additional training.

All services are free and include individual assessment, counseling and
computer-assisted instruction. Employers may call the Assessment Counselor,
298-6750 for information about making employee referrals."

Why is there no guarantee available to the student, or their parents, or taxpayers? I'm waiting for a malpractice suit to set this all straight.

[Edited 5/12/05 10:45 a.m. to include school names and correct headline.]

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