The Magic of Boarding Schools
I have a column in Monday's USA Today about boarding education for gifted students. It is available online at:
Welcome to those who saw the URL for this blog in the column!
The gist of the piece is that despite America's love of Harry Potter and Hogwarts, his boarding school, we're not sending our own children to boarding school. There's a wizard's brew of factors at play, including high tuition, and a general lack of awareness. But also, today, more parents who might see boarding education as an option are interested in keeping their kids home and becoming closer to them during their late teen years.
I say this is too bad, because boarding education, done right, can concentrate the brightest kids from a broad geographic area, and create an environment that values learning. This is what I experienced at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities. To do boarding education right, schools need to provide more scholarships, states need to build more public residential schools for the gifted, and policy makers can recognize that when gifted kids' needs can't be locally met, they may still be entitled to a free and appropriate education elsewhere (governments pay tuition for 17,111 disabled students at private residential schools or facilities around the country when their needs can't be met locally).
But obviously others disagree -- maybe parents can provide the best environment for gifted students. Maybe 15 or 16 is too young to live away from home, even if the educational environment is better. I'm curious to hear what people think- Laura