We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Somewhat similar to Charter Schools, the academies get a flat rate per student, and run themselves. Britain modeled these after the Swedish system which offers an abundance of choices free from the governmental and union system.
When I was in boarding school, all students were assigned to work crews all year long. That was good, but the above is even better.
What work crews were we assigned to at school? Leaf raking and landscape clean-up, kitchen duty (dishwashing mostly), prep and maintenance of the outdoor hockey rinks, preparing and serving faculty teas and faculty meetings, working in the printing shop and the mail room, cleaning the chapel after Sunday service (we had daily chapel) and waxing the chapel floor, working in the gym's laundry room (gross), shelving books in the library, snow-shoveling, early morning newspaper delivery to faculty, preparing the skeet and rifle ranges, raising and feeding the pheasants for the shooting club, and so forth. Work crew averaged out to around 7 hrs/week. Most of the work was under the supervision of rough-edged townies who didn't mind calling us spoiled brats and sissies who didn't want to get our hands dirty. They did not give a damn about how you felt, and rightly so. That attitude was motivational and, I believe, endorsed by the administration.
Looking back, the work crews did us all a lot of good. Bear in mind, we had plenty of rich kids from NYC who had never seen the inside of a kitchen or touched a rake, much less a snow shovel. Education takes many non-formal forms.
My husband studied to be a Maryknoll priest when he was 13. Since they work in remote areas, they were taught things like road building. His dad, a career Navy man, visited the place once and told him that it was harder than boot camp. I think there's something to be said for work in school, especially since many kids don't have any real work to do at home.
Work crews sound like structured, mommy says... activities that require no initiative on the part of the student. Much better to get rid of the min wage and let them forage for after school work off-campus. No after school work = signing up for Finding Work 101.