A reader in New York City offers a thought experiment. He invites you to participate:
If teachers ran their classes the way New York City runs its schools…
• Students would get their grades 4-5 months after they finish the teacher’s class. (Progress Report grades for schools are distributed 4-5 months after the end of the previous school year).
• The grades students are given would have no connection to the actual quality of the work they did/the effort they put in. (The school report cards have been shown to rely on questionable use of standardized exams and suffer from irredeemable methodological flaws http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2012/10/05/i-dont-know-about-art-but-i-know-what-i-dont-like/.)
• Teachers would incessantly praise only specific students. Those students would turn out to cheat in legal, but ethically questionable, ways. (The Mayor and the Chancellor consistently praise charter schools although they have been shown to carefully screen out challenging students http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2012/03/at-kipp-i-would-wake-up-sick-every.html and kick out those they missed the first time http://www.edwize.org/middle-school-charters-suspending-their-way-to-the-top.)
• Teachers would give better supplies and resources to the richer students. (New schools, already receiving special extra funding, get higher budgets than other schools as well http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-09-04/news/33567092_1_turnaround-schools-new-schools-budget-cuts.)
• Teachers would say that “there is nothing to be done” for struggling students in their classes and would remove them from their class lists. (Schools that work with students facing greater incoming challenges are closed down http://www.edwize.org/closing-schools-for-vulnerable-students-a-lesson-in-darwin. This “strategy” is claimed to be a good way to make schools better even though the new schools “fail” at the same rate http://www.edwize.org/meet-the-new-schools-same-as-the-old-schools.)
Do you think this is any way to teach kids? Then why should we believe it is a good way to run a system of a million kids? And why would we want to spread these crazy ideas across the nation?
Feel free to add your own in the comments section…