Experimenting with gender segregation

Guest post by Eric Muller
Cross posted at Is That Legal?

My reaction to this article about an experiment in single-sex education in all core classes at a local middle school was mostly "hmmm ... interesting ... maybe a little troubling ... but interesting ..." until I got to this stunner:

All [the teacher originating the idea] knew was that she intended to retire next year after 31 years and was running out of time to test her theory [that 7th graders would learn better without the "daily drama" of interaction between the sexes].

But she and her colleagues didn't tell the superintendent or the school board, choosing to notify parents of the experiment in letters sent home Jan. 6, a Friday. They assured parents that the experiment would last a few months at most.

School of Hard Knocks

I'm a little stunned. I knew that the University was working on designing and opening a model school for 3 and 4 year olds. What I didn't know is that city schools officials and UNC have proposed a plan to remove pre-K through second grades from Seawell Elementary School and site Seawell's youngest students at “First School”--- a model FPG Child Development Institute program designed to “assure a successful school entry experience for all children.” The pressure is on to review and accept this surprising proposal quickly and to turn Seawell Elementary School into a grades 3-5 school.

James Brown Funk Spirit High School

It's just a name and not such a big deal… or is it?

This coming Thursday the city school board will discuss the naming of the third high school. The naming committee has narrowed the choices down to three: Carrboro High School, South Chapel Hill High School, and Howard and Lillian Lee High School. These names seem all rather boring, given that there were 69 other names that could have generated lots more controversy.

Community members suggested such names as: Charles Darwin High School, Cesar Chavez High School, Robert E. Lee High School, Edith Wiggins High School, Rockin' Ravens High School, and on and on. I personally got a laugh out of 'The Insufferable Chapel Hill High School of the South". What name would you choose and why?

What if $0.10 is the right amount?

There doesn't seem to be any perfect solution for the funding woes of the Orange County Schools. Is a special district tax “unfair and divisive”? Is it an unnecessary burden on farmers?

IMHO, supporting the district tax referendum is an important opportunity to send our county commissioners a message that Orange County School District residents want more funding for our schools. However, I haven't been willing to say that it's the "best" solution for increasing funding.

After the discussion at last week's referendum information forum, I was left wondering: What if $0.10 in additional funding is the right amount?

Indy Endorsements!

The Independent Weekly endorsements, often thought to be the most influential in Orange County races, came out today.

In Chapel Hill the Indy endorses Kevin Foy for Mayor, and Mark Kleinschmidt, Laurin Easthom, Will Raymond, and Bill Thorpe for Council.

In Carrboro the Indy endorses Mark Chilton for Mayor, and Jacquie Gist, John Herrera, and Randee Haven-O'Donnell for Board of Aldermen.

For the School Board it endorses Lisa Stuckey, Pam Hemminger, and Jean Hamilton.



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