A Comparative Analysis Of The Downtown Middle School North Star Academy
Similar to other charter schools within the Uncommon Schools network, the main purpose of the Downtown Middle School North Star Academy is to prepare students to enter college and successfully complete a bachelor’s degree. In order to reinforce this goal, every single classroom is named after a specific college—the one I observed was “UCLA”. Furthermore, North Star schools believe that children learn best in a highly structured system, and therefore teachers are experts at effective classroom management and allow minimal interruptions. For example, there is a nonverbal system that students use to communicate things that are not related to the lesson. Some of their seat signals include showing a hand up, with two fingers crossed to ask permission to go to the bathroom, or holding a pencil up for exchange when they need a new one.
Contrary to North Star’s strong focus on college, Princeton Public Schools recognize that there is more than one pathway to success. According to their website, their mission is to raise…