President Bush visits the Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology today to discuss his American Competitiveness Initiative. The absurdity of the federal government promoting “competitiveness” aside, what is this school?
As best as I can glean from its website, like all magnet schools it attracts students with particular interests and skills. Such programs seem particularly well suited to high schoolers. The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is one well known and excellent magnet school in Northern Virginia. But why on earth would we ask 11-year-olds to specialize in aerospace technology? If college students need a balanced curriculum of the arts and sciences (and they do), then middle schoolers should also be generalists.