- Sep 2017
I think at least in well educated areas, that the concept of a charter school is becoming something specific needed for the future. For example, around here we have 3 new charters for STEM. They spend roughly 80% of the school day on sciences and math. Its set up and geared for those who want to be engineers or doctors. They had a 100% placement last year at all Ivy League schools. Others I have read about elsewhere might focus on music or the arts or even a sort of voc tech school. I think its interesting since the kids get to spend so much time doing what they love.
You could even argue that students would get a more practical education if they share an institution with many who don't share their interests, rather than a homogeneous student body. If you're taking STEM, but also take a handful of classes with people who aren't STEM-minded, you're going to develop skills for dealing with such people. If you're taking STEM, and even your non-STEM classes are with STEM-minded students, you may not develop those skills.
I can see the importance of that in my job, where I deal with engineers in coming up with specs for big project contracts. One reason I'm good at it is that I started out as a STEM major myself, and I love science, so I can kind of translate from engineer-speak to something that makes sense for non-engineers, making me a valuable project interface. But without someone like me, some engineers struggle horribly to explain what they mean to anyone who doesn't think like an engineer.