Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 02:32pm 15 Comments
There was a great post on Reason yesterday about the failings of the American education system. Steve Chapman explained that “[there] is a widespread impulse to treat all kids as equally able and willing to learn. But the results often fall dismally short of the hopes. … When the Chicago public schools scrapped remedial classes for ninth graders and put everyone in college-prep courses, “failure rates increased, grades declined slightly, test scores did not improve and students were no more likely to enter college,” according to a study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. Among average and above-average students, absenteeism rose. The danger in putting the brightest kids in general classes is that they will be bored by instruction geared to the middle. But their troubles don’t elicit much sympathy.”
I remember in my private high school’s courses that – on the rare occasion someone of significantly greater or lesser ability slipped into a course – the whole class would suffer from being slowed down or pulled into tangents much more advanced than the material. It seems that many school districts are trying to forge classes almost exclusively like this. Yet this trend in thinking is indicative of a perspective that focuses less on actual learning and more on “not feeling so bad.” It’s not a shameful thing at all to be in a regular or college prep course (well, I didn’t think so when I was), but since when did we live in some sort of perfectly egalitarian society where everyone was created with the same academic abilities? Or is that just a projection from the politically-correct police?
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Cowboy Curtis, noted (repeatedly, over the past few years) and never to be forgotten or forgiven. Cheers
@Kathleen. Note my observation as to what has become an increasing trend in your posts: a lack of original content. Look at this as constructive criticism.
@Carmine, In my defense, I was just in the middle of finals for a week and a half. Will try to work on it.
You should know that when Congress went to create the Individuals With Disability Education Act, they wanted to include provisions for gifted students, so that school districts would be required to create programs geared toward their brightest students as well as ensuring access to an appropriate education for those with disabilities. National organizations that support the gifted fought tooth and nail to stop it. The organizations for the gifted resented that "gifted" would be seen as having a disability. Whether it was ignorance, bigotry or sheer shortsightedness of those who considered themselves so intelligent, provisions that would make it a civil right for gifted students to be given a challenging education were removed from the legislation. The gifted student generally languishes in most schools today. Meanwhile those with verifiable educational disabilities, who had long been forgotten, abused and relegated to the margins of society are receiving the education they deserve (theoretically).If you are upset about the state of education for the best brightest (by the way, an overwhelming number of whom have verifiable educational disabilities-called twice exceptional students), blame your mentors.
Isn't linking, summarizing, and/or commenting on articles/posts/news stories written by others 80% of blogging?
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