'Have it your way,' would-be dropouts

Worried about a high dropout rate, Pinellas, Florida schools are emulating Burger King. If traditional school doesn’t work for you, “have it your way.” School leaders haven’t figured out what the options will look like, but they’re very aware of charter school competition, reports the St. Petersburg Times:

Pinellas has three charter schools geared toward at-risk high school students, with two more on the way.

. . . At the new Mavericks High in Largo, students who boost their academic performance and attendance will eventually get to spend more time in a game room playing John Madden football and Tiger Woods golf.

Another charter school, the Florida High School for Accelerated Learning, is scheduled to open next fall in Kenneth City. Its approach is big on flexible scheduling, a self-set pace and technology.

“We think we can do some of the things that they’re doing, and just as well or better,” Chief Academic Officer Cathy Fleeger told the Times.

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Comments

  1. tim-10-ber says:

    sadly…it takes competition for government educators to do what is right for the kids…geez…

  2. Yeah, doing what’s right for the kids …

    “At the new Mavericks High in Largo, students who boost their academic performance and attendance will eventually get to spend more time in a game room playing John Madden football and Tiger Woods golf.”

    So they go to school more often, then they play more video games.

    and the public school thinks this is a good idea?

  3. I hope the district offers flexible scheduling and self-set pacing to ALL its students, not just those at risk of dropping out.

  4. > So they go to school more often, then they play more video games. and the public school thinks this is a good idea?

    If they meet their academic goals and accomplish more than they otherwise would have, who cares? Anyway, we don’t know what “more time in the game room” amounts to. Maybe it’s not a great deal of time. Nobody said they’d be spending all day there.

  5. Don Bemont says:

    Really, this article does not give us enough information to guess at the merits of the program. Based on this link, the undertaking could be fraudulent education meant to compete with charter schools, or it could be an honest effort to involve students in education.

    Are the perks simply a substitute for learning? I’ve seen students sitting around playing video games instead of doing anything remotely related to education, and only a fool would claim that, since the kids are in school, this is education.

    I’ve also see students “paid” for doing schoolwork with video game time and similar perks. Psychologically speaking, there are risks to this, but one should not rush to write off such a strategy with at risk students.

    I’ve also seen strategies to teach students through fun activities. It is tough to keep up that pace through an entire curriculum, and without high skill, the entertainment will simply come across as lame to jaded teens, but if someone is making it work with high risk students, that is fantastic.

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