I’ve ranted before about the education reform concept which transforms huge high schools into smaller learning communities. The LA Times offers a good look at the proposal to change all the city schools into this new format. However, some people think that trying to do this with 131 schools (middle and high) in just two to three years will be difficult if not impossible.
Converting to small schools, said Pedro A. Noguera, a professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education and the director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, "is a fairly complex process, and it typically takes time to pull it off. You’re not just changing the structure of schools. You are changing the structure in order to improve the teaching and the relationships between adults and kids."
He’s right. Making a smaller version of the same old school will lead to even more failure. The only way to improve high schools – a format that was largely locked in place more than sixty years ago – is to tear the whole thing apart and rebuild it from scratch.