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School zoning

A new look at an old problem
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Geographical zoning of schools is one of those 50-50 problems; if educators impose it they're wrong; if they don't do so - they're still wrong.

As a watcher only now, I see a possible both-and solution.

Require compulsory zoning for "general purpose" schools [Currently all elementary and most high schools].

Allow no-zoning however, for approved special-theme schools.

ANZ [allowed no zone] schools would put general subjects in second place to a dominant special theme e.g. initially sporting activities, such as rowing, or golf, or chess. [E.g. by having an Academy of Golf].

Even with zoning in place this trend is clearly visible in the muddy water of the zoning debate, causing even more stirring by outzoned parents.

"Why should Greenhill High be allowed to have an Academy of Spanish when my kids can't even go there ... etc. they say.

Yes I foresee a time when ANZ schools will select a non-sporting specialty to become well- known for.

Here's a local example : a state intermediate school [no pupil older than 12] specialises in - wait for it - bacteriology and recently won all the top prizes at a technology fair expecting adult students only to enter.

taughtt by dedicated teachers of technology, they're "doing it younger" these days and our school administrators must, and will I feel sure, cope.

ANZ imight be a way of coping with the good and bad of school-zoning, especially when more and more teen-age millionaires yawn at the back of their classes.

rayfo, Jun 05 2001


       My hometown had something like this: you went to whatever high school served your district, unless you petitioned for and were admitted to the programs for astronomy, computer science, Latin, Greek, classical music or dance, in which case you went to the high school which offered them.
Uncle Nutsy, Jun 05 2001

       PS: Vouchers are a whole 'nother kettle of fish, especially when one considers that (1) vouchers as proposed aren't big enough to pay for most private schools, so they won't help the people who need them, (2) good conservative economics tells us that government subsidizing of consumer purchases generally acts to raise the cost of the good until the subsidy is exhausted, and (3) the nations kicking America's ass in standardized tests consider vouchers and similar manifestations of America's "local control" fetish to be our weaknesses.   

       (That said, I'd probably send my children to private school myself, if I had them- partly because the local public schools are generally weak, partly because I'd want them to get a Quaker education- but I don't think anyone but me should pay for it.)
Uncle Nutsy, Jun 05 2001


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