Monday, August 17, 2009

Let's Play Pretend

Let's pretend that we want to help the students of NYC by offering them summer school to repeat courses they failed.

Let's put 40 kids (or more) in the class and make sure many have behavior problems. Let's also excuse excessive absence. Don't worry even though the majority of them got under 40 on the regents they took in June. Cut summer school to 4 days instead of 5. (This cuts down on Friday cuts and improves attendance.)

Now, ask the teacher why his regents results were so poor. Ask the teacher what can be done to improve them. I know he will have some answers.

Now, will you listen and do something about it?


Rachel Grynberg said...

One summer, they put 50 kids in my class. I quit.

Anonymous said...

I oftened wondered how some students passed the ELA is summer school until I found out the essay portion was not included in the test.

When I was in the 6th grade I failed the reading test and went to summer school. I still remember my teacher and how she inspired me to read. While there was some test prep, she made it exciting and allowed us to read books we wanted instead of those my former teachers choose. She encouraged us to increase our vocablulary by keeping index cards of new words. I read more that summer than all my 5 years in public school. When I took the test, my score was so high, she had to recheck my results. She did more than get my grades back up, she made me feel I was worth the effort and my confidence grew.
Today summer school teachers are not given the opportunity to work with their students. It's all test prep. Also classes are large and no longer intimate. If the goal of teaching is to make students life-long learners, they are failing.


mathman42 said...

You must have been peeking in my summer school window. I'm not sure if even 20% of those who took the regents passed.