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View Diary: Rich Kid, Poor Kid - Who gets the education? (36 comments)

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  •  Are things more difficult in your district? (5+ / 0-)

    You say you "want to teach my students to think critically, to come up with new ideas, and to be problem-solvers." At the same time, the nature of your district is such that it's not performing well on the standardized tests.

    Do you find that their comparatively low math and reading abilities, as reflected in their test scores, are an impediment to your teaching goals? On the other hand, if you find their abilities sufficient to handle the material you're teaching them, why do you think it's not reflected in their tests?

    •  Impediments (1+ / 0-)
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      Cassandra Waites

      Absolutely their low math and reading abilities are impediments to any teaching goals, not just mine, and that's a whole different problem altogether.

      Rather than actually failing students (which would, unfortunately, lead to some 17-year-olds being eighth-graders) and not letting them advance through the grades because they lack the necessary skills to perform at grade level, students are "socially promoted" through the grades.  Most of them, admittedly, would rather it be this way, because the legal drop-out age is 17, and so they can drop out and go to work to support their low SES families.

      Some, however, truly want the education that is available to them and just get frustrated and end up with the same result due to the frustration of not being able to function at the expected academic level.

      There are the outliers, though, that completely go against the previous two paragraphs, and fight through the repeated testing, the inabilities of their peers, and their frustration to graduate and go on to college.  Those students often bring up not only the achievement of the classroom, but also the scores on the tests (although only six of our Juniors last year scored high enough on the ACT - the 25th percentile) to even be considered for admission by CU).

      As I said in the original posting, I offer no solutions, but I couldn't go any longer without saying something about the situations that go largely ignored.  The students, because they are mainly poor, are:

      1. Not getting the same education as students in affluent districts.
      1. Being forced through the grades - without the required skill sets - to the age of legally dropping out (for the most part)
      1. Being, despite the legislation, left behind.

      ~~~~~~~~ "There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." - Joseph Brodsky

      by Shakespeares Sister on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 07:50:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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