I attend King, and I love it. I think expeditionary learning is the best way to learn because everybody really gets involved and cares about what they are doing. We are learning about things that are relevant today, not just what a bunch of dead guys thought of. For example, in one expedition, Riverworks, we learned about the Presumpscot River and it's history, how to canoe, how to test water for D.O., pH, temperature, and E. coli bacteria. We learned how to write a speech and make scatter plots. We made a PowerPoint showing what we had done, and in the end, we actually canoed the Presumpscot River and tested the water. We then had a culminating event at which every student spoke about the expedition in some way or another. We learned about things that mattered and were pertinent, and we still are doing so. Thank you King Middle School!
Do I wish public schools were more rigorous? Yes! But my 6th grader is working on his writing, diagramming sentences and being held accountable. Whenever I am at the school, I hear teachers and staff talking about what is right about kids and how to bring out the best in them. The principal is positive and supportive of his teachers and staff. My kid is thriving and so are all the kids I know who go there.
Most teachers are quite good, however there are still many cantankerous teachers. Not too flabby. Expeditionary Learning is quite fun. It is a great school overall, though in some individual areas, it is flabby.
Very poor quality academics. Much group learning. Very squishy, alot of babble and no rigor. Pretends to like parent involvement, but is not earnest about it. Remarkable decline in last 10 years. Poor access to art & music. Good drama and sports. Relies heavily on 'Expeditionary Learning' (Outward Bound based). Much political correctness, but little attention to 3Rs. Kids can skate. Really a very phone environment, and kids know it. Cynical, because many immigrant parents can't see how much their kids are missing.