A uniformed and single-sex Buford?

Charlottesville City Councilor Kendra Hamilton has an idea for revamping the City's public school program: single-sex middle schools with uniforms. The intriguing idea, explored today in the today's Daily Progress, would transform Walker Upper Elementary School and Buford Middle School into separate academies for boys and girls in grades 5 through 8.


I've said this on other blog/news boards long before this article.

I think school uniforms are a very good idea. They solve several problems all at once. By creating a uniform dress code one eliminates the social competition and other educational distractions surrounding who's wearing what, allowing more time to focus one what's important- the subjects being taught.

Further it's a lot cheaper for parents. Six outfits can take you thru the entire year (normal wear and tear not withstanding). No need to worry if anyone will notice that you wore that same outfit on tuesday, or if you're wearing something that makes you look dorky- with school uniforms everyone pretty much looks the same. Public school systems in many large cities have adopted school uniform policies for students in neighborhoods "at risk" for gang violence. In those school systems uniforms made a difference.

As for single-gender schools, I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. I've heard about studies from other (national) news outlets that girls in single-gender programs tend to do better in math and science, then girls in mixed-gender classrooms. I certianly can't imagine that it would be too terribly damaging to students to roll back the clock and take a more "old fashioned" approach to education.

On the whole I think it's probably a good idea. And it's nice to see that Ms. Hamilton is reading some of the Charlottesville Blogs.

I think that uniforms are superficial and may represent a desire to find a "silver bullet" solution. Uniforms are only slightly more than a cosmetic solution but a very public and visible one. It is my opinion that because uniforms are so visible, the desire to require them represents an acknowlegement that big steps need to be taken to improve the city's middle schools. The problems facing Buford and Walker have been there for years and can only be solved by addressing three critical issues: curriculum, instructional methods and discipline. If the schools take on these difficult challenges along with uniforms then bring on the plaid jumpers and the bow ties! If they just require uniforms and don't do anything else they're wasting their time.

As a former student of both these schools and a current student of CHS:
Bad idea.

I went to Buford, Walker and CHS:

and I entiredly agree, uniforms are a great, grand, fantastic idea! Think of it, rows of a angry pupils in prison garb sullenly marching to and from class. In fact, these uniforms are such an amazing thought they should be passed on to the local high school!


The uniforms could easily cause slightly more chaos than there already is. Being that the teachers have little control over the students now, forceing them, into conformist costuming will just edge on there unhappiness and create less respect.

Everyday teachers are ignored, insulted, verbally and physically abused by the pupils they are trying to help. Seems like a bit of a turn off for teachers looking for jobs and for those who should be doing their's, doen't it?

If anything needs to be done it is that the administration needs to crack with whip, stand their ground and take back their
school; a community cannot thrive without leadership, no matter how many laws are made they do not matter if they
aren't followed. And no matter how well you can hide the problems in plaid and grey they are still there.