Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Is the current high school system dead?

School officials want to redesign the traditional four-year high school to allow students to work at their own pace toward graduation.


Under the proposed new plan, students would repeat classes they fail instead of the entire grade and advance to the next level in classes they pass.

Advanced students could graduate in three years while struggling students could take up to five years to finish.

Well I guess standard conservative arguments would suggest things like it will cost more money, require more teachers, and encourage slacking.

I do not see that happening. If anything it would require less teachers by making the school system more efficient. It would also encourage hard work by showing what kids are good at much quicker, though the problem classes for the children could cause problems.

The only real problem I can see is what to do with the fifth year high school students who are only taking one or two classes. The are not full time students, so how is that going to play into the funding formulas. It would free up the fifth year student to go get a job, start college classes, or pursue drugs and alcohol.

I don't know if this idea will work, but it should be tried.

Actually this will force cost to go up, initially. There will be a need for a stronger IT system to track what classes have and have not been taken. Secondly, teachers will no longer be afraid to fail their students, because they know that they will not have to repeat the entire grade. The cumulative results of teachers not being afraid to fail students will result in a higher failure rate in general, though it will also result in more knowledgeable high school graduates.



Anonymous said...

Interesting proposition.
I would like to point out that if parents would not socailly promote first and second graders who are not at skill level (ie: unable to read/add) then these problems would be corrected much earlier. Then perhaps the studets would be literate enough to read To Kill a Mockingbird the first time they are a Sophomore and able to do multipliation so they can pass their Algebra 1 class the first time. By the time a student is 14/15 it is almost too late to pick up the basics. Schools need to address the 3 R's like they used to adn teach Reading Writign and 'Rithmatic to elementary students. Then they will have the skills to pass high school. Adn most schools try to do this. Then the parents come along and say things like, "Oh, but Johnie (he always gets a bad wrap, doesn't he?) will feel bad about himself if he doesn't go on to 3rd grade with everyone else." Well, Johnie is really gonna feel bad about himself when everyone else has a job they enjoy (or at least make good money) and he's still trying to pass Senior English! Maybe you should try readign to your kid instead of just putting in a video to shut him up! Or actually let the kid play outside in the sunshine to perfect his motor skills. Or let him count pennies to learn his numbers. It's just a thought.

Cubicle said...

congrats that was the longest comment ever.

Cubicle said...

i think since america is a consumer based society, that a pay-for-school-if-your-kids-are-going-to-school-and-if-you-don't-have-kids-in-school-you-don't-have-to-pay-for-school model would make parents get involved in their kids education more.

I can here it now, "i paid for you to go to school and you are going to do well...smack".

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was a little carried away. It's not like I care about education, or anyting. Thanks for posting something I have an opinion aobut. *grin*