When I read the list of proposed requirements for Madison Preparatory Academy, a charter school like no other, I couldn’t imagine a family sustaining its extremist schedule. Kids do require parental participation to succeed, and I’m doing my best with my own elementary and middle school sons, but busy working families already involved will be stretched to surreal limits with Prep’s curriculum. In fact, I don’t know who would want to give up family life and force their kids to things they have no talent for or interest in:
WSJ: The first class of sixth-graders would attend school nearly year-round, be in class from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., with mandatory sports and extracurricular activities running until at least 6 p.m. and possibly later.
Over the year, students would be required to participate in two sports, two other extracurricular activities and a year-round fitness program.
The school year would run for 210 days for first-year students, and 200 days for returning students, up from the current 180-day school year. A two-week new student orientation would begin Aug. 20. The school year would end the following July 31 after a month-long summer semester. It would include a third semester during the entire month of July with an earlier release time.
Parents would be required to participate in nine workshops over five weeks to learn how to become college preparatory coaches for their children.
This isn’t a formula for success, this is a overreaching formula for unrealistic expectations and failure. Maybe I'm overreacting, but after reading about Finland's school system, one of the best in the world, I can't believe how convoluted and draconian our list of solutions have become.