Monday, December 21, 2009

Pass The Students Through The System; Get Them To Graduate

Now that the holiday break is here; I do not have to worry about my insomnia. Therefore, I am up, surfing the web and looking for information that catches my eyes.

The Houston Chronicle has a story about students attending school during their holiday break to regain credits for classes they did not previously pass.

You can read the article by clicking

After I read the piece, my usual "bull shit" detector kicked in and brought many thoughts to mind.

First off, this is nothing more than a "feel good program" to push students through the system so they (schools AND students) can say they graduated.

A student gets 1/2 credit for attend a class for a mire 32 hours when the student who follows the rules, regulations, and requirements has to attend class for 60-90 hours to receive the same 1/2 credit.

Using thinking like this, a student could get ALL their high school credits in a mire 156 days. YES, getting students through school is a fine objective, but at what cost to the overall program? They are required to attend 1/3 to 1/2 of the required course time.

This has been brought about by the "free good" policies that are running wide in the schools of today. So these students get their credits and graduate, but what are they going to do with their HS diploma; probably nothing. Until the real reason for their failure (lack of effort, truancy, lack of motivation, gang-banging, etc) is actually addressed, this is nothing but a Band-Aid for the problem.

What the schools need to do is hold the student's (and their parents') feet to the fire and make them attend and pass school. Tie their grades to their parents' taxes, public assistance and many of 100s of ways to hold them accountable would be a better use of the facilities and money. When will people learn when people do not value a product, the product has little value.

So these students graduate on time? BIG DEAL! The administrators are covering their asses for state accreditation purposes and to keep their graduation rates high.
If they really wanted to help these students, they would make sure they attended school to learn the material the first time around. Parents must be involved in the equation, but when most of their parents are low educated and/or lack the skills and/or caring to MAKE their children pass, this does nothing but dump a large number of uneducated people into the work force to fight for the number of jobs that are becoming less and less available.

A better program would be to have these students in a trade/vocational program so they can learn a skill in order to survive in the real world.

I expect much more of these "feel good" programs with our Current Temporary Resident of the White House in power.

"Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants." - John W. Gardner

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