Prince George wrote:Primary schools have much more modest requirements for facilities than middle/high schools; to my mind, a school that couldn't manage to have a room for art and science would have to be absolutely tiny.
There are a few of these in the Adelaide Hills - admittedly not where the superschools are being built, I don't know what's currently out there.
Prince George wrote:The talk of technology in the schools has me confused too - I can see that 20 years ago there were advantages to rebuilding schools to accomodate networking for computers, but in the era of wireless and laptops what exactly do they need to build?
They need to supply the laptops, and would ideally have them in a room where kids can go and use them to do work in free time. This is how my kids' primary school works - they are not a rich school but are not doing too bad either.
Prince George wrote:And, really, how many of these super schools are going to have something as specific as a commercial teaching kitchen? I could imagine that there may be one such school in the entire city that would offer that, and that people would still have to travel cross-town to take advantage of it - basically the same situation as we have now with schools like Urbrae.
One of our local high schools has one. I did a tour through it last week and was very impressed. It offers Home-ecc classes in a home-kitchen style set-up (with 8 kitchens in the one "classroom"), commercial cooking in another section that is set up as a commercial kitchen, as well as front-of-house waiting and coffee-making classes which enable kids to get work in the hospitality industry, either when they've left school, or on weekends while in high school, with a bit of experience behind them. There are also tech rooms, a fantastic music program, a drama program and studio which also teaches backstage management (sound, lights, etc), a great gym. Compared to a small school that couldn't afford these things, there's very little comparison.
I can see that there are advantages to small schools too, especially social advantages, but as I said before, I have faith that the pros and cons were added up, and the best outcome chosen. As I also said before, the Naplan tests mean that if a government is not offering good public education, they will find it that much harder to be in government for the next term.