I visited KIPP High School in New York City a few months ago and wrote about it. My post was pretty generous — perhaps too generous — so I’m going to write more about what I saw there in a few small posts.
In my last post I put a picture I took of the $400 senior dues poster. This wasn’t really that controversial, but I found it interesting that they would do KIPP style ‘spin’ on how the $400 was such a deal since it really should be over $800. It seemed like an unnecessarily large amount of money to ask families to pay, even if it was a great deal.
I wasn’t running around snapping pictures or having a hidden camera in my hat or anything. I actually only took two pictures, and I’ll put the other one here.
This was on the door of one of the teachers (I blacked out the teacher’s last name). When I saw it was a quote about ‘failure’ I expected something inspirational along the lines of “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, again” or Edison’s “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Messages about how it is natural to fail and how that is just a part of learning and eventually succeeding is something that I certainly approve of in a school.
But this quote struck me as kind of hostile. I have two kids and I’d be upset if any of their teachers had this quote on the classroom door. Maybe I’m being too critical, though. I’ll let the great commenters that visit this site weigh in on this.