Sunday, October 22, 2006

Who's Failing?

I am so confused with the Saturday and after-school programs being offered in our school? I think it is great addressing the problems of students deficient in credits but I am truely concerned. Why did we get rid of the opportunity of a traditional “night school”?

Two seniors, one from Montessori and one from Emerson approached me as to how they could make up credits from their freshmen year? I pointed them to the teachers with whom they originally took the course; they said the teachers want nothing to do with them. My suggestion was to them let them benefit from the after-school/ Saturday program however I was not sure if this was right.

In October 20th's NY Times article "Study takes a Sharp Look at City's Failing Students" Gottman clearly states we are on the right track as to how to dissuade students from dropping out of High School, but from the voices of the students I don’t know if we are really ready to deal with new route to academic success.

Are we prepared to award credit to previously unsuccessful students? Who gets the second, third, and fourth chances? Who are we to say no? Are we the gate keepers to accreditation?

Now that we have them staying in school whats next?


Anonymous said...

Sending students to night school 2-4 nights a week after a full day of regular school was a recipe for disaster. Maybe some kids were able to make up their deficiencies but many spent lots of time transporting to and from schools and fell behind in the classes they were taking the first time. Plus many say the classes were far from rigorous and showing up was a guaranteed pass.

W Brown said...

I am not suggesting that "Night School" is the answer, however are teachers ready to deal with the personalized instruction necessary to fill the vacancy created by "night school's" elimination?

Anonymous said...

I have a few seniors in classes making up credits during the day. I feel confident enough to speak for them when I say that if they had to travel to Mars to make up these credits they would. If they could turn back time and pass the class the first time, they would. They realize that their previous teachers didn't fail them; they failed themselves. I highly doubt they would complain to a third party about teachers who "want nothing to do with them."
Our staff is always up for a challenge; the problem is some students sometimes aren't. I don't think we should doubt ourselves because these 2 students might not feel the same way.

W Brown said...

I never doubted the resolve of the students, I do however believe we need to be trained to better understand our roles as teacehrs when it comes to awarding credit for past failures.