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Power to the Public Schools

June 26th, 2007

This is simply an all-around good idea - probably one of the better ones I’ve come across. And it came from a grade 12 student, too. A year from now, 10 high schools across Toronto will be outfitted with solar panels and windmills to generate electricity, with the surplus being sold back to the province.

When the government drops the ball with education (as it has a history of doing in Ontario), public schools generally fall to the bottom rung of the upward-mobility ladder. This encourages the affluent middle-class peons to pull their children out and stick them in private schools where wealth and entitlement run as rampant as social anxiety disorder. While these childrens’ grades are being inflated, their parents’ money is no longer being siphoned through fundraising drives into the holes that property-tax revenue can’t fill.

Public schools can just accept that they’re on the losing end in this vicious cycle, or actively take steps to provide for their students. And I don’t necessarily mean by putting MBA graduates in the principals’ offices, or by requiring each school board to hire a ‘Business Supervisory Officer’ to oversee insidious and exploitative private-sector partnerships.
Let the schools compete. Let school boards accrue capital. Show students the profits. Help them think like the winning class of this historical moment. Maybe they’ll feel pride. Maybe they won’t feel the need to send their kids to a junior rotary club.

Oh, and helping the environment doesn’t hurt either.

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