Boys choose tough charter school

In Philadelphia, an boys’ charter high school that will require Latin has inspired 80 percent of incoming ninth graders to take voluntary summer classes, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

All the students are black, though founder David Hardy says he’ll try to recruit a more diverse student body next year.

Boys’ Latin is modeled after the rigorous Boston Latin School, says Hardy.

Students came from a variety of public and private schools and other charters, Hardy said. He said they and their families were attracted by the promise of academic rigor, the sports and after-school programs, and the boys-only setting.

. . . The school requires Latin because it boosts vocabulary and English skills, makes learning other languages easier, and can help open doors.

I met Hardy in 2006 when I was in Philadelphia doing a reading of Our School, which is about a mostly Hispanic charter high school. He’d been turned down for a charter because he wanted to focus on boys only, but he said he would keep trying. And he did.

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  1. Richard Cook says:

    Always it is thus. They will work to your expectations.

  2. Richard Brandshaft says:

    Sigh. I thought Latin as a sign of academic rigor had disappeared 2 or 3 generations ago. I guess a good, well rounded liberal education is still 100 years behind the times. Reading C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” would take a lot less time and would leave the students better educated.

  3. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Latin is GREAT for forcing students to think analytically, to memorize, and to work hard– And the pay off is getting to read about lots of sex and violence! =)

    Seriously, though, HS Latin is often taught a lot more rigourously than the modern languages… Fewer dialogues where you can gloss over your lack of grammatical knowledge, more difficult passages earlier in the sequence.

    And it requires self-discipline…..

    But I’m biased in favor of Greek and Latin, so I might not be the most valid opinion on this. =)

  4. Brilliant educator, brilliant man…success inevitable!