Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Monday, October 14, 2013

Militarism passes for 'school reform' in L.A. charter

The bugler lifts the brass instrument to his mouth and waits. A short delay betrays the illusion, but then a recording of "Reveille" blares out from stereo speakers as the flag moves up the pole.
That's how the day starts at North Valley Military Institute, a Los Angeles Unified School District charter school that this year transformed from a traditional campus into a military-style boot camp for mainly low-income, Latino children. 25% are classified as special ed.
Each morning, four students — one representing each company: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta — stand watch over the front entrance of the school. They eye the students, searching for flaws in uniforms, for closely cropped hair on the boys and tightly pinned-back hair on the girls. Colored nail polish is prohibited, but makeup is allowed in moderation. Any infraction constitutes a demerit, and each demerit lands a student 15 minutes of detention, which the school calls a "reboot." -- L.A. Times
As for Common Core, students are taught military courtesies — the use of "sir" and "ma'am" when addressing their elders, for instance — operate under a rank structure and wear uniforms. Students lead platoons of their peers, do physical training twice a week and follow a demerit system. According to the Times,
The military influence has led to some confusion in the surrounding neighborhood. Some parents believe the school is a boot camp for troubled teens or is run by the military.
 They're right. The military curriculum is overseen by the California Cadet Corps, the youth program of the California National Guard.

2 comments:

  1. Why am I suddenly thinking about the Hitler Youth?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe because you're ignorant.

    -Graduate student (MPA)

    ReplyDelete