Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minneapolis school officials are teaming up on a “We Want You Back” campaign to try to convince recent dropouts to come back to school. MPR’s Sasha Aslanian reported on the effort today. As is customary on these sorts of endeavors, it’s enlisting help of some popular artists to speak the musical language of the target audience:
Sasha’s story said 25 percent of all Minneapolis school students drop out. But why? Are they not connecting with what’s being taught? Is what’s being taught not relevant to them? Why not?
I thought about this while watching the viral video of the day. This “concert” from the control room of the Large Hadron Collider:
Sure, that’s probably not going to appeal to your typical high school kid. But what about this?
A little to “Schoolhouse Rock” for the ’10s? Probably.
But if the key to getting a dropout back in the classroom is Slug or at least a message the kids can relate to, what’s the key to keeping them there in the first place? Education isn’t a “give ‘em what they want” world. It’s a “give ‘em what they need” endeavor. What’s the secret to marrying the two?
Stephen Hawking weighed in on this today. He said the way to inspire more young people to study, is to “reverse the dumbing down of intellectual culture.” That seems somehow counterintuitive.