With the School Board election coming up I'd like to share a few semi-informed thoughts on the Monrovia schools:
- I applaud the emphasis on technology and college prep, but I think the trades are getting short shrift, not just in Monrovia but in most schools. My wife had an uncle who got an engineering degree from Caltech, worked at it for a while and hated it, so he bought a nursery and happily worked at it all his life. There's nothing dishonorable or second class about being a plumber or electrician or mechanic, and I think students should at least have the opportunity to explore those options if they are interested. I believe candidate Selene Lockerbie has commented on this, so that's something. [Candidate Maritza Travanti writes to say that she also has "addressed the need to have ... pathways as diverse as our students are. Not everyone is headed to a college or university."]
- I have recently been chatting with a young man about investing, and have been wondering why there isn't a life-skills class in high school that teaches students this basic stuff, things like: how to cook an egg, basic nutrition, how to shop, how to write a check, how banks work, how to invest, using credit cards, renting an apartment, writing a resume, and so forth. Maybe it's there but I've never heard of it.
- Maybe there are things going on here I'm unaware of, but it seems to me that Monrovia's continuation high schools are AMAZING (many of the students go on to college; at most continuation schools zero go to college), and I really don't get why the district doesn't do more shouting and waving and tooting of horns to tell the world, "Look, this is how it should be done!"
These are impressions, and I'd be happy to be corrected, and I'd especially welcome comments by the four School Board candidates.
- Brad Haugaard