Why I’m Driving my Kids from Pasadena to Orange to go to School

, Why I’m Driving my Kids from Pasadena to Orange to go to School, Student News Network--SNN学生新闻社 尔湾新闻共享 橙县社区新闻, Student News Network--SNN学生新闻社 尔湾新闻共享 橙县社区新闻

By California Policy Center

By Michael Davis

为什么我要开车将我的孩子从帕萨迪纳带到奥兰治去上学

黛布拉·塔什Debra Tash)在2020年10月11日添加。
保存于教育地理生活
标签:加利福尼亚州政策中心奥兰治市迈克尔·戴维斯奥兰治县古典学院帕萨迪纳学校

由 加利福尼亚州政策中心

迈克尔·戴维斯(Michael Davis)

在本学年,我的家人将加入南加州人的长期通勤队伍,但对我们来说,这是为了我们的孩子们受教育。

我们住在帕萨迪纳,但我们的孩子将去奥兰治县古典学院,这是奥兰治市的一所新特许学校,距离我们家有一个多小时的车程。我们选择这所学校的原因涉及更长的旅程,这是我们八年前双胞胎出生时开始的。那时,我们像许多警惕的父母一样,开始调查加利福尼亚州的公共教育状况。

大多数接受教育的父母已经知道我们发现了什么。根据最近的国际评估,即PISA,在77个国家中,美国学校的数学排名第37位,阅读排名第18位。根据《美国新闻与世界报道》,在一个表现不佳的国家,加州K-12学校的排名为37。

但是还有一个更紧急的故事,它没有获得相同的知名度。我们的孩子不仅遭受表现不佳的学校之苦,而且遭受道德健康和个人意义的危机。这场危机值得我们特别关注,因为它在我们的孩子正在努力进入的那些机构中不断扩散:大学。

This school year, my family will be joining the throng of Southern Californians making long commutes, but for us it will be for the sake of our children’s education.

We live in Pasadena, but our kids will be going to Orange County Classical Academy, a new charter school in the City of Orange, a more than one-hour drive from our home. Our reasons for choosing this school involve a longer journey, one we started eight years ago when our twins were born. That was when, like many vigilant parents, we began investigating the state of public education in California.

Most parents who follow education already know what we’ve discovered. Among 77 nations, U.S. schools rank No. 37 in math and 18 in reading, according to the most recent international assessment, called PISA. In a nation that already performs poorly, California K-12 schools rank 37 according to US News and World Report.

But there is a more urgent story that hasn’t achieved the same visibility. Our kids not only suffer from underperforming schools but also from a crisis of moral health and personal meaning. This crisis deserves our special attention because it is proliferating in those very institutions our kids are working so hard to get into: the universities.

A portrait is now emerging of a generation of high school and college-aged kids suffering unprecedented declines in mental health and wellbeing. In their book “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt conclude that our approaches to education and family upbringing have had the unintended effect of raising a hyper-fragile generation overwhelmed by young adulthood. Yale professors Anthony Kronman and William Deresiewicz advance a more troubling observation in their books “Education’s End” and “Excellent Sheep”: when universities jettisoned the morally formative role of the traditional liberal arts, their students lost the tools that equipped their predecessors for the pursuit of meaning and wellbeing.

As parents we knew something was wrong when the signs of a moral health crisis were reaching even into the cohort of the nation’s most elite schools.

Then we discovered OCCA. Its K-8 curriculum uses Core Knowledge, the educational standard for 30 years, and based on principles now validated in research and studies documented in the latest texts by Natalie Wexler, E.D. Hirsch, and cognitive scientists like Daniel Willingham.

But more importantly for us, OCCA was a classical charter school, part of a movement that has been growing in popularity for decades by filling the void left by conventional public schooling.

The purpose of classical education is moral, not just academic, and its object is the heart as well as the mind. Classical education seeks to nourish in its students a certain kind of unembarrassed passion for the true and the good – and the virtues necessary to pursue them.

And talk about real diversity: The curriculum draws on cultures across 5,000 years, and invites students to engage the great conversations about the most important things. They hone these insights through Socratic engagement, to recall, critique, and reformulate new insights on their own from that broad, deep civilizational conversation.

When the products of conventional education seem so unmoored if not confused, schools like OCCA offer families a foundation for their children – a foundation firm enough to help them thrive in what promises to be an age that will test their generation.

We tried to start a school like OCCA in our own district. That was when we learned about the third source of our public educational crisis – politics. The board of the Pasadena Unified School District is notorious for many things but among them is its statewide reputation as militantly anti-school choice. Our plan was quickly scuttled.

The residents of Orange Unified School District should know they are fortunate their school board isn’t wholly populated by placeholders actively fighting against choice. But this may not be the case for long. Despite the well-documented merits of OCCA, the school was approved only because four of the members were not instinctively anti-choice; now three of those four seats are up for re-election this November, and the teachers union and others are working hard to end school choice once and for all.

If parents wish to avoid the fate of my Pasadena district, they must fight to preserve what my district has lost. For parents in the city of Orange and everywhere it means learning who your pro-school choice candidates are and fighting for them. Unless you do, your future will be what we are fleeing every day when we commute to and from the City of Orange.

*Republished with Permission 

Michael Davis is a partner in a small tech company and contributes to online journals on matters of culture, education and reform.

, Why I’m Driving my Kids from Pasadena to Orange to go to School, Student News Network--SNN学生新闻社 尔湾新闻共享 橙县社区新闻, Student News Network--SNN学生新闻社 尔湾新闻共享 橙县社区新闻

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, Why I’m Driving my Kids from Pasadena to Orange to go to School, Student News Network--SNN学生新闻社 尔湾新闻共享 橙县社区新闻, Student News Network--SNN学生新闻社 尔湾新闻共享 橙县社区新闻
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