In yesterday's column, Hawpe took issue with a magazine article headline that described the 120 high school students who got into WKU's Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science as the brightest in the state:
Based on that system, the ideal applicant ought to be a test-tutored grind who is adept at sucking up to teachers and counselors and telling interviewers what they want to hear.
Not exactly the type to end up on the senior superlative page in the yearbook, under the heading "Most Popular."
What do they do in the Florence Schneider Hall rec room: sit around chugging chai and debating string theory? Grooving on the latest episode of "Battlestar Galactica" or re-runs of "Dr. Who?"
Hawpe is upset that a small number of high school students who are better at math than he is don't have to stay stuck in their district schools if the curriculum isn't challenging enough for them.
Hawpe may be in luck, though. The Gatton Academy looks to be headed to the dustbin of good educational ideas because the General Assembly didn't put any funding in the 2009-10 budget for it. And, frankly, I'm surprised he seems to have missed the fact that the school was already operating illegally.
The Gatton Academy may well not exist for long, but the idea of improving educational opportunities shouldn't stop there. If we ended Kentucky's ridiculous prohibition of charter schools, it wouldn't have to.