They had my attention.
The program is called, CARE (Carver Activities Remediation & Enrichment Period). The school's principal, Don Ashburn admits that the school has fallen behind the standard for No Child Left Behind and previous attempts at improvement had yet to produce adequate results.
Enter....CARE which provides 125 minutes per week within the school day where students can make up work or get some extra help. If the students are caught up on work they can participate in "more than 60 different activities ranging from basketball to yoga to scrapbooking".
My issue is with the school's "instructional strategy". (I prefer words like crutch, band-aid, or the easy-out)
The strategy is called the "Power of I". The I stands for incomplete, which means that instead of a student receiving failing grades for not doing their work OR turning in poor-quality work, they would receive an incomplete. The allotted "CARE" time will provide the opportunity for the student to redo their work.
So let me get this straight. The lesson is.....
Don't Do Your Work = More Chances To Do Your Work
Do Shabby Work = Opportunities To Do It Again
I'm not sure where this flies in the real world....the job force....or the natural order of cause and effect, but then again it's our public school. Their primary job is to churn out adequate test scores.
It doesn't end here. They are also using the CARE time for students who need to serve detention.
Call me old-school, but shouldn't detention involve some sort of detaining process? You know, all your friends are going home to eat pop-tarts and watch MTV and you are stuck here at school in "detention". I was even thinking that detention might serve as a deterrent of some sort?
Nope. It's more like:
**Hey! Let's provide
Honestly, the only success this program is driven for is the success of the standardized test (No Child Left Behind) and an improvement in the grading curve.
If behavior (remember we are talking about children in need of a Savior who will most likely always choose the fleshly desire) is not addressed then actual change will NEVER take place. Things like respect for authority, responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment cannot be taught within the school day if they are not first taught at home. Hence the vicious circle of programs and gimmicks aimed to "solve" the problem.
Ashburn tries to clarify, when he says, "In a way, we have to be more like parents and say you have to do your work and you have no choice."
The problem is, they certainly do have a choice and a rather lucrative one at that. A second chance during the school day when the incentive for correct answers outweighs the benefit of a child learning the true consequences of reaping & sowing.
I understand that there are students within this system that are not being parented well or at all for that matter. So does it make sense to lower the standard to accommodate the lowest achiever?
Oh, and by the way...
The middle school that is highlighted in this article is where my oldest attended 6th grade.
Stepping down now....