Speaking of public schools, my sixteen-year-old dropped out of high school.
No, she didn’t, really. She actually signed up for the state’s dual enrollment program (called Running Start), and elected to become a full-time student at the local community college, with no high school classes on her schedule at all. This is working out beautifully so far. She enjoys her classes and she especially enjoys the absence of stupid high school stuff. She seems unconcerned about social issues and still spends plenty of time with her friends. Tigger’s goal is to finish her two years with both a high school diploma and an AA degree.
It’s a little tricky. She has to carefully choose classes that satisfy both the requirements of the AA degree and the high school graduation requirements.
For example, to graduate from high school she needs a class in American History. Well, that’s cool, it will satisfy a college humanities requirement. But which class to take?
The college offers:
- US History I
- US History II
- US History III
- Women in US History
- African American History
- Native American History
Courses 1 through 3 can be summed up as “white men and their wars.” Courses 4, 5, and 6 could be called “other stuff that happened.” This being my child and all, she would much (+++) prefer courses 4 through 6, any one of them, really.
So she went to her high school counselor, who has to sign off on all of her choices before she registers each quarter, and asked him if she could take one of those classes for her American History requirement.
What do you think he said, friends?
Yes, you’re right. He said no. Only “white men and their wars” counts as real history. To his credit, he didn’t like the school district’s policy and agreed that she should be allowed to take the other courses. It’s not like there’s no overlap. Do you suppose the African American History course includes no discussion of the Civil War? It’s merely a question of perspective, and one perspective is privileged above all others.
That is a lesson my daughter is sure to remember.