The current mission statement for the Monroe County Community School Corporation:
We commit to working with our community to deliver an
appropriate and safe learning environment with a curriculum
dedicated to excellence that honors the unique and diverse
needs of our students.
A school is an institution
A school is a building
A school is an ideology
A school is a philosophy
A school is nothing if there are no students to embody the definition (cf. Gary, Indiana).
To educate; to develop, to instruct, to inform, to train. Do we intend all of these?
I would argue that “to develop” is the only truly expansive, and thus democratic, term on the list. The others are words of force and coercion. Also, like the so-called educating technologies (i-Pads) our children are readily “informed” and “instructed” and “trained” in the ways of our business ideologies–they are enveloped by them. It’s my contention that a school should keep these external for as long as possible in order to allow real growth. Once one is “interred” in the paycheck world, the ability and time to think and grow is vastly diminished. Think of Frost’s “The Ovenbird,” “The question that he frames in all but words/Is what to make of a diminished thing,” yielding to a narrow mind that, as again Frost says “cannot look out far…and cannot look in deep.”
To develop learning. Does this need further clarification? To develop the questioning capacity. To model learning.
We should not educate, but provide the ground for the expansive growth of mind and spirit. True learning is exciting. Our schools are the opposite and it shows.
The world of tomorrow…No, this will not do either. The only world is this one today. There is no tomorrow. Better, if tomorrow is our goal, then our work today is to make possible different tomorrows for every student. We offer only the “after graduation” world. Tomorrow’s world has been dictated by politics and economy. If anyone thinks it best to change this, then the work we do today had better be vastly different than our current “tomorrows.”
Curriculum dedicated to excellence: A curriculum is often only a cultural conveyance. In this manner we offer content intended to relay our cultural values. Is our curriculum dedicated to cultural values? Are these “excellent”?
Are these defined?