Morehead City, N.C.

Sept. 15, 2017

TO THE EDITOR:

The “Early College High School” program has been marketed to many members of our community as a way to better prepare students who want to learn applicable skills, but who do not necessarily want to go to a typical 4-year college. This facet of the program would aim to train students with skills (like small engine repair, boat building …) that can be used within our local community, working for local businesses. This sounds great and I support this. 

My primary concern has been with details of the “Early College High School” application. I feared that its “target population” could exclude many good, hard working students. The following mission statement is from page 6 of the “Early College High School” application:  

“The mission of the school is to provide a personalized, academically energized environment at both the high school and college level for students who are first-generation, college bound, traditionally underrepresented in higher education, and/or at risk for dropping out of high school.”

At first glance, this appears to be an admirable goal, but I feel it unfortunately excludes many students. Consider the program’s Student Target Population (as stated on page 3 of the Early College High School application):

a. High school students at risk of dropping out before attaining a high school diploma.

b. High school students with parents who did not continue education beyond high school, defined as “first generation college students” by the USED.

c. High school students who would benefit from accelerated academic instruction.

Now consider an example for each of three groups:

a. If a “student at risk of dropping out” is given priority over a student who may have been working hard to stay in school, are we rewarding the wrong behavior and punishing the better behavior?

b. Consider two equally “economically disadvantaged” students. Is it fair to demote the application of one of these students because his (single) mom tried to better herself and her family by attending college?

c. The student targeted for this last group remains vague, but could include those who would benefit financially (for whom four years of college is cost prohibitive) or those who might otherwise benefit by getting a head start on college. (Students can earn more college credits in Early College High School than they can in traditional high school.) However, rather than staying in the community and working locally, this group of students will typically go off to a university to finish their education with a couple of years of college credits under their belts. This could be a great financial benefit, but some might object to the idea that the local community should subsidize the cost of college tuition for certain students.

In our board of education meeting, I had questioned whether the same opportunities might be offered (more economically?) through expansion of current dual enrollment programs, rather than by creating a separate high school. It appeared that many courses in aquaculture would be limited only to students enrolled in the Early College High School. Could we offer traditional high school students access to the same courses through dual enrollment?

According to the News-Times article on Sept. 10, 2017: “Dr. Hauser, during the trustees’ meeting, said if there are still available slots once students meeting the at risk criteria are accepted, he would open them up to all students.” Is this fair to interested students who are not “at risk of dropping out”? Non-college bound students interested in a local trade may not fall into any of the three target groups outlined in the program’s application.

Fortunately, the statute (NCGS 115C-238.50) which outlines the guidelines for funding does not require that these “Target Groups” be given priority over other students. I originally feared that once we submitted the application, we would need to stick to the target population submitted in order to satisfy the guidelines of the funding allocation. However, the selection of applicants remains a local decision and is not defined by the “Student Target Population.”

This was not clear when the application was originally presented and may still not be clear to some people now. If we want to give priority to non-college bound students who are going to stay and work in our local community, then we have the ability to do so through the application process.

I appreciate that our administrators have been working to bring a program like the “Early College High School” to our community. As discussed with other BOE members, we will need to keep a close eye on this, being certain to craft metrics and performance indicators to ensure that the objective of the program is being achieved at a cost that is proportionate to per pupil expenditures at all three high schools. Concerning the way the new school is being marketed … if we can “adjust the aim” of the target population by promoting program benefits to all students, we could potentially create a valuable program for our community that we all can be proud of.

TRAVIS DAY, member

Carteret County Board of Education

(12) comments

DeadBolt

Complete waste of time effort and money, at the taxpayers expense.

smitethemorons

Just like the rest of public education, right?

DeadBolt

Not education at all, the management.

This is not a new argument , btw.

Its truly not the teachers or students in the majority of case's , or even the subjects, it reflects on the actual management team of the broken business model, and their lack of willingness to accept the fact that their cr@p is broken , and the communities willingness to let it continue.

If you can prove i'm wrong, i'm all ears.

dc

K-16: The Land of Lies by Bruce Price.

CARTERETISCORRUPT

Higher education for the most part is just business, education is a distant second.
We spend all this money and still don't turn out the best product. The current system is broken. Are we stuck with it?

DeadBolt

I'm not going to be the one to tell you how, or how long, etc.

ie: Yes, if you keep the same model of managers.

This is a very complex issue , from a business standpoint, if the managers are running it in the ground, you almost need a new team, with a stable baseline, No amount of money thrown at this problem is going to garner you a win win.

(FYI, this is a State to State issue, involving the federal government with massive complications regarding parenting in general, including religion , etc, etc)

Only reason i said my original comment was simply that if the pupil was lost in high school, i doubt they can pick it up, or have a need to continue education at all?

Technical courses are already offered at the college as far as i know.

Not a one size fits all by any stretch of the imagination, and for the life of me, i cannot figure out how something can fail so bad as to be in the paper 6-7 times a year, with the same core focus, except the managers have lead the company astray?

DeadBolt

ps....... Carteret.......

This is a prime example when the Government interferes in a private sector issue.

A great example of a socialistic experiment gone amuck.

Great job Obama, and a few prior!

I guess one size fits all under socialism? [beam]

DeadBolt

Oh, yea, found this, a GREAT example of these socialists teaching our children.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmdfUnAW_So

What a POS.

gridlock

It must also be considered that many youths have little to no interest in learning a trade or working. Please don't get me wrong, there are some that do... and many who don't. I'll go with 50% to the youth and 50% to SOME of the managers. There are many in the system trying to make a diff. But it's an uphill battle when their parents don't care either. Just like an expensive daycare... how do we counter those who don't care to keep it from bringing down the youth that do? To me, that is the heart of the matter.

Livin in Paradise

Parents are the key to education. Those parents that are involved find their children will be the most successful. Those that don't care will not. It's that plain and simple. Until parents care, education will never fully succeed.

And teachers, teaching to a test because it effects state funding is an absolute disaster. Give teachers the necessary tools to do their jobs and let them do. You, nor I, could be successful with one and even two arms tied behind our backs.

Pay teachers a living wage and watch what happens !!

DeadBolt

Its not your station in life to target anyone for their lack of willingness.

Do you know the difference between cooperation and capitulation?

I do.

We live in a society where capitulation has been pushed at people so hard, with a premise that rewards families to actually condone bad behavior, with socialistic values that were drummed up out of thin air.

Your bar for success must be astronomical by now, and continue to stroke your ego , well, i don't need to do that, its not my station in life.

gridlock

Bingo DB and we are on the same page LIP. This may offend some, but as soon as our "well intended" govt tries to come up with one solution for all it goes sideways. Call me evil or call me whatever, but not all have the same mental state. And then it devolves into all the mess in the news today. Yes, I fully support better schools and feel Devos is on the right track. No, I do not feel every student should determine the priorities of the current system.

This is a very weak and off the cuff comment... but most likely we have all seen NatGeo of birds learning to fly. Some do... some don't. We can't save every child, but the odds improve dramatically with solid support. Teachers have no chance if the parents are too "busy".

Welcome to the discussion.

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