I believe Bellingham Public Schools took a major step backwards this week by no longer requiring a senior project.
Many have argued that it is a barrier to graduation. The problem, however, is not that this project was required but rather that for many students this was the first time they had been asked to take ownership of their learning.
Nearly all jobs, professions, and avocations today require people who are autonomous learners and yet even some of our most successful students are judged by their ability to negotiate prescribed assignments rather than projects they defined.
We still operate our schools as if we were producing mid-20th-century widgets. I suggest that we all review The Bellingham Promise, Board Policy E-3 in particular, to make sure that what we state is what we do.
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Kudos to the other Whatcom County public schools for retaining the senior project requirement along with public service. Educating our children is hard work and no one wins if we lower our standards.