‘Traditional’ schools appeal to parents

In Arizona, more parents are choosing “traditional” schools where the teacher does the teaching and band practice doesn’t supercede social studies.

Now, (parents) can select from a larger pool of charter and private schools and district ones without boundaries. Desperate to stop the flight and protect their budgets, districts have established “traditional” elementary schools that mimic private ones with their tough curriculum, longer school day and strict behavior codes.

It’s “segregation by work ethic and attitude,” a principal says.

About Joanne


  1. wahoofive says:

    It’s a perfectly legitimate choice, of course, but it’s not really “traditional” to have exclusively 3 R’s with no music, unless you’re talking about the “tradition” of the one-room schoolhouse in rural America, circa 1890 (even that probably had music).

  2. “Segregation by work ethic and attitude.”

    An interesting phrase.

  3. most eye-catching ambiguity was in the “expectations” sidebars. After guidelines for parents, teachers and students, the one for principals reads
    Principals: Maintain a learning environment by returning
    chronic troublemakers to their neighborhood schools.”

    it leaves unclear which of the prior three categories comprises the chronic troublemaker set.

  4. mike curtis says:

    “…where…band practice doesn’t supercede social studies.”

    I wonder if this phrase is pointing to extra-curricular band. If it does, then I understand why parents, if given a choice, would opt for a more traditional school.
    As a public high school math teacher, I’m finding it more and more common for students participating in extra-curriculars to think that they are actually excused from class because they “need” to play tennis, golf, baseball, or cheerlead. If the students care about making up any missed work, they give the impression that they are entitled to before school…after school…during lunch…during prep period individual tutoring by the very same teachers they choose to bypass on their way to the games. Somewhere in the method of accommodating student activities and academics, our institution sometimes gives the impression that “extra” curricular means “instead of” curricular.
    Not once,in my career, did a coach or student ever approach me and ask, “Hey Mr. Curtis, Do you mind if Bubba misses your Algebra class so he can play a game?” Instead, it was taken for granted that the students could get help later if they missed the subtle nuances of the quadratic formula.
    I applaud and support those parents who are looking for a more “traditional” approach to education where the emphasis is on the 3Rs. I prefer to give my before school…after school …lunch time…prep period to those students who need more help as opposed to those students who chose not to attend the lesson in the first place. Not one of my employers ever asked me what team I played for or what musical instrument I mastered; but, everyone of them asked for my diploma/grades.

  5. How is this a surprise? I live in Texas, and most Texan schools are like this…

  6. It is not jsut students missing class due to other school events, it is also those students who just don’t show up to school….due to illness, babysitting for parent, visiting relatives…..

    Sadly, in my many years of teaching, far too many students who miss class for ANY reason fail to make up the work they missed. And when they have poor grades, poor test scores, it is us teachers who are blamed. How many of you teachers have heard from your principal, “YOU TEACHERS……..” (fill in the blank about our lack of professionalism, lack of effort, lack of caring about our students, our lack of devoting 30 hours a day to our students, being gone too much [usually to inservices we are told to attend]……)

    Maybe the upcoming revised NCLB should make it mandatory for underperforming schools to ban extra-curricula school activities ?

  7. Walter E. Wallis says:

    “mandatory for underperforming schools to ban extra-curricula school activities ?”

    You mean they don’t now? That explains some.

  8. polski3 correctly identifies this as a management issue. Blanket bans are rarely good management – unless school activities are truly parallel to a gun, where a ban is appropriate; better integration of teachers, principal and operations can attack problems more thoroughly.