professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

Some of you (OK, many of you) will not know this old comedy song from Alan Sherman in 1963. Here is a link to a You Tube video featuring the song. Why am I flashing back to the 60s? It seems to me of late that there are some new "camps" springing up, educational "camps." And I must use the quotes when it comes to the word "camp" because there is nothing remotely fun or engaging happening at these forced excuses for classes. They are designed for kids who did not do well on the tests. So, hey kids, how about giving us some of your summer for some extra worksheets and drills? Doesn't that sound like fun? Here is one such "camp" designed to help kids who are not reding up to snuff:

Kids get 4 weeks to pass the test. There are consequences for failure to measure up in those 4 weeks, too. This is happening elsewhere, of course.

Calling it camp or summer school is not the issue here. The issue is expecting kids to turn around in a short period of time. Failed biology? Take 6 weeks of summer school and get your credit. Not proficient in reading? Here is a month to get on board. As if somehow learning were a matter of some additional worksheets or drills. As if we can overcome the factors behind the "failures" to measure up. If it were up to Campbell Brown or one of the other deformers, we would just get rid of tenure and then all would be well. Other deformers might replace the summer camp counselor (otherwise known as the teacher) with a recruit from TFA with her or his "extensive training" of several weeks. Still other deformers would simply fail to promote these kids to their net grade placement.

Not one of these proposed solutions will ameliorate the situation. That does not stop the proliferation of summer camps, Saturday school, extra courses in test prep, and other punitive actions. This morning's emphasis at Mass was STEWARDSHIP, about using our time, talent, and treasure in service to others. How about instead of punishing kids, we are permitted to use our considerable talent to develop standards that are developmentally appropriate? How about if we use our time to take part in PD we design? And how about we get some of that treasure for our kids, especially those in poverty?
Tags: deform, education, reforms

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