The Marine Corp is going to sponsor / support / manage a public high school near Atlanta, Georgia. The following link will take you to an article that will give you more specific details, http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/04/06/marine0406.html
For the record, I love the concept and here are the reasons why:
First, a number of the significant role models that I had growing up were Marines.
Second, it has been my experience that former Marines make excellent teachers. I never had to either recommend termination or terminate a Marine.
Third, I use a number of Marine Corp management principles when I coach and train aspiring and new administrators. It is hard to argue against the long term success of the Corp.
Finally, I am a big believer in the value of JROTC. In fact, in my dream high school, 9th grade PE would not be offered. Instead, 9th graders would have to enroll in either a sport, a performance arts class, or JROTC. Not being connected to coaches and mentors would not be an option.
Other than the concept, there were two other things that bear conversation. First, in predictable fashion, there are people who are protesting the Marines involvement. It doesn’t matter that this is a school of choice, so the students who attend actually want to go to the school. It also doesn’t seem to matter that there is no requirement that the students enlist in the military after they graduate. Evidently, to the protesters, patriotism, freedom, discipline and security are just natural by-products of the human condition.
Second, the Marines get “it”. William McHenry, national director for the Marine Corps’ Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps states, “Our mission is to build leadership and character in the kids of America. And it provides a niche for kids. All kids need a niche. It might be on the football field, it might be on the stage as a member of the drama club. Or it might be in ROTC.”
Every student would be better served if the adults at their school understood the need to work everyday to build leadership and character in their students and to make sure that each student is intimately connected to the school community. Great schools and great principals make this happen.
I won’t be surprised if the Marine High School quickly achieves excellent results and that the neighboring schools create a long list of reasons why they shouldn’t be held to the same standard
Think. Work. Achieve.