School of Innovation concept not dead yet

Posted by J. Adrian Stanley on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Wasson student on football field
  • Student Aaron Shoemaker loved Wasson's School of Innovation program.
In 2010, Wasson High School became the only Colorado Springs school with a special state designation giving it many of the freedoms of a charter school.

But since the District 11 Board of Education decided that it will close Wasson at the end of the year, the School of Innovation concept looked like it would be short-lived in the Springs.

Now, it seems that may not be the case after all. Earlier this month, the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education unanimously approved a plan to make Sand Creek High School a School of Innovation. The plan will now move on to the Colorado Board of Education for final approval.

According to a press release, Sand Creek students will have the opportunity to participate in specialized programs, or “pathways,” if the plan is approved. For instance, “A media and communications pathway will focus on developing career-ready skills in the tech, graphic design and marketing industries and will include dual credit options with area universities,” it stated. Other pathways include one for visual and performing arts, and another for engineering and technology.

Comments (19)

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So what you’re saying is this school will specialize in skills that are of no help in the real world.

If it was just Engineering and Technology then i would say go full steam ahead. But when you include performing arts, Media, and Graphic Design then this becomes a useless idea. These fields are already flooded with people that can’t get jobs. Engineering and Tech would be great. Artistic expression should be a hobby, not a career path. Just My Opinion...

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Posted by Robert A. Metz on 03/01/2013 at 6:32 AM

Nice Robert, so kids with dreams of going into graphic design or performing arts should be told to hang it up..that's just a hobby. That's a great message to youth with a passion for the arts. When adults start talking to kids that way... its a sign they've given up on their own dreams.

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Posted by Really? on 03/01/2013 at 7:28 AM

A great concept for luring kids into something that has no future job potential so they can just get a government check forever....bad parents raising bad kids, undisciplined parents raising undisciplined kids have destroyed our public education system and are destroying America...both these parents their children need a good spanking.

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Posted by TejonTech on 03/01/2013 at 8:52 AM

Tech: I agree that spoiled "entitled" parents of spoiled "entitled" kids have contributed greatly to the demise of education in this country. However, the biggest culprit in cheating our children out of an education are the unions. They protect the lazy, indifferent and incompetent teachers (which, given the pitiful education our children are receiving, probably account for about 50% of that population). The unions sponge every cent that goes into education and use it for their parochial pet projects (like political contributions and their retirement accounts).

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Posted by siggie on 03/01/2013 at 9:14 AM

Once again, siggie and TejonTech vent against their favorite "enemies" without a single, solitary shred of evidence to back them up. First of all, you need to demonstrate education has actually gotten worse over the years. Next, you need to demonstrate parents are now more permissive. Finally, you need to establish a cause-and-effect link between the two phenomena.

Otherwise, you sound like the Monty Python skit complaining about the "kids of today."

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Posted by Mr. K-- on 03/01/2013 at 10:30 AM

Amen Siggie...good point!

K--walking by a public school proves our point.

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Posted by TejonTech on 03/01/2013 at 11:59 AM

K: once again I wonder if you are simply playing dumb or are you really that obtuse? You obviously have not hired a recent HS *grad* and asked him or her to perform rudimentary tasks such as adding/ subtracting, spelling, constructing a sentence, or talking without injecting the word *like* between every other word. Or, get off your lazy butt and look at any and every study regarding the demise of education in the USA. Every year we fall farther and farther behind the rest of the world while spending more and more.
As to parents today, we are heavily in the process of making the majority of Americans dependent and expectant of entitlements. One of the many negative consequences is that this entitlement mentality and dependence on Uncle makes them mindless slaves to the system and destroys their desire to improve themselves. This addiction is passed down generationally.

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Posted by siggie on 03/01/2013 at 12:42 PM

siggie, once again you let your prejudice against unions run rampant, without check by any facts or figures. In your opinion, all schools are failing, but not all schools are unionized. On the face of it, that proves that unions have no effect on education pro or con. Nevertheless, not all schools are failing, and no one has identified those that are failing, so we can determine what role, if any, unions play in these failures.

I attended one of the finest public high schools in America, and it was, and still is unionized. The unions are responsible for establishing and maintaining high standards for teachers. In my experience, the poorest schools are the ones that have no teachers union, who will hire anyone with any kind of degree and any kind of grade point average, just to save money. You can see the failure not only in the students, but also in the ignorance of their parents, who were educated in the same schools.

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Posted by Mr. K-- on 03/01/2013 at 1:27 PM

TejonTech, if you leave a piece of meat out in the sun, it develops maggots that hatch into flies, which proves the medieval theory of "spontaneous generation" is correct and science is wrong!

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Posted by Mr. K-- on 03/01/2013 at 1:39 PM

K...thanks for sharing your views

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Posted by TejonTech on 03/01/2013 at 1:48 PM

I agree, if a capable student is not doing well, it is generally the fault of the parents. The basic problem is that students learn mostly at home by doing homework. Teachers do teach, but their main function is to answer questions that come up to the student while he does his homework, and to clear up any other confusion. When an intelligent student fails, it is most often because his parents do not make sure he does all of his homework completely and consistently.

The other problem is that parents do not support their teachers. In my home, my folks always stuck up for the teacher. The teacher was never wrong. No matter how difficult or eccentric or irrational, the teacher was always right. What I learned was how to deal with difficult personalities and how to achieve in spite of the difficulties. When you disparage teachers, as siggie and TejonTech have done in this thread, you are playing the same entitlement game that leads to student failure.

The bottom line is that a teacher can only lead his students to the information, but he cannot make them think.

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Posted by Mr. K-- on 03/01/2013 at 2:40 PM

siggie, perhaps none of the successful high school grads are applying for work with you because they are smart enough to get better paying jobs with more reputable companies doing more interesting work. If the job mainly requires physical labor, you will not get many applicants who can read, write, or do arithmetic.

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Posted by Mr. K-- on 03/01/2013 at 2:45 PM

K: as usual you generalize to attempt to make a point. NO WHERE did I say all schools are failing and all teachers are bad. In fact a good teacher is worth his/her weight in gold. Why don't we pay teachers according to their success? Well, because the unions won't allow it. Why? Because they protect the weak, the lazy, the incompetent and the indifferent.
K, you and I went to school a long long time ago and things were much different. Corporal punishment was allowed and students actually respected their teachers. Additionally, I do not agree that a teacher's main function is to answer questions.
Finally, as to your last and most ridiculous assumption: I retired a long time ago. Not because of age, but because I could. We always hired above minimum wage, and the folks I was speaking of were office workers. The company was listed on the NYSE had a great reputation and we had no problem attracting applicants. Physical labor was contracted on a job basis.

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Posted by siggie on 03/01/2013 at 4:59 PM

Siggie, well said. We seen where the hippie free spirit era got us. ITs not ruining dreams "REALLY?" Its teaching them life skills, kids can follow their dreams when they can pay for them. But when im paying for my kids school, they are going for something usefull. Hes not going to a school that teaches performing arts, so he can be a mime. Kids need to wake up and smell the roses. If we stay on the current path we are in with education, our kids will be the movie Idocracy.

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Posted by Robert A. Metz on 03/01/2013 at 7:52 PM

Robert, no one is twisting your arm and forcing you to enroll your children in performing arts classes. On the other hand, not everyone is capable of understanding and learning the complex mathematical skills required by a science and engineering discipline. You have no reservations about depriving them of any career track at all. The great actor, James Dean, was well on his way to becoming a failure when a high school teacher got him interested in theater. In your world, there would have been no drama teacher in the high school, sponging off of your tax dollars, teaching kids "useless" skills, and instead of a great movie about juvenile delinquency, we would have ended up with just another juvenile delinquent.

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Posted by Mr. K-- on 03/02/2013 at 12:58 PM

K: what a cute story about James Dean, but that's all it was. (I'm guessing most actors are ignorant. Just look at their politics.) I don't pretend to speak for Robert or anyone else. However, what I garnered from his post is this: kids need to be taught the basics before they branch out into the liberal arts. If they don't have a basis in the three R's they will forever be ignorant regardless of how talented they may be.
Given your propensity to twist thing around to make a point (I suspect you have no ammunition to confront issues head on), I suspect I will now be accused of misspelling arithmetic and writing.

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Posted by siggie on 03/02/2013 at 1:12 PM

Ha, James Dean, horrible example. Im well aware of him, since he was born in a small Indiana town down the road from me. They still talk about him..Thers a sign out side of town that says " Birth PLace of James Dean. Where cool was born"

Siggie, you are correct on my point.

Mr. K, life offers many in between options. You dont have to be a Scientist or a Starving Artist. This is useless. I wish we were all in the same room, then we might be able to give our opinions, and discuss things like Independents.

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Posted by Robert a m on 03/05/2013 at 9:18 PM

Robert, I agree with your comments. It seemed to me that you were the one against exploring all options. If a student can study science and be on the football team at the same time there is no reason he can't study violin and science, too. Studies indicate that good basic grounding in music is an aid to the study of math, so don't write off the arts too quickly.

By the way, media and graphic design are both good career tracks. Graphic designers create all the advertisements that bombard us all day from every angle, and media is a catch-all phrase for television and radio--the technical side, behind the camera, not just in front of it.

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Posted by Mr. K-- on 03/06/2013 at 3:05 PM

MR K, I quess when I think of the arts I think of artist trying to survive off of their paintings etc. WHen generally most of these people are intelligent. I feel there is nothing worse than wasted talent. LIke i said, if we were in the same room, we would get alot more done, ha. This is a horrible way to debate, or discuss.

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Posted by Robert a m on 03/06/2013 at 5:03 PM
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