parent

Morrisville, NY

#1 Sep 18, 2013
Why do away with the Delta enrichment program at the elementary level?

The letter that was sent to parents, after the school year started cited the "rigorous new curriculum," really? You have to be kidding me. The letter noted that parent input was gathered, really, when was that? I had multiple kids in the program, no one sent us any indication that dropping the program was being considered or seeking any feedback from participants.

So let me get this straight. Kids that might have reading or math abilities above grade level will now be "challenged in the classroom by the new rigorous grade level curriculum." Uh yeah, that's not flowery administrator speak attempting to spin a poor decision. Nothing to see here, just move along.

Taking kids out of the classroom one day a cycle has two benefits. First, you can challenge some by demanding more... critical thought, advanced concepts, whatever. Second, others then benefit from smaller class sizes, one-on-one attention, and interaction with teachers spending time emphasizing and reinforcing grade level curriculum.

The administrators want to cry about it being too hard to select kids, or that money is tight, or that the new curriculum is "rigorous?" Tough, that's why you get paid more than teachers. Make a difficult decision once and a while. Find a solution. Don't for a second try to convince anyone that these kids are better off forgetting about reading more challenging books or being presented with math problems requiring algebra, or critical thought.

Imagine if this was athletics. I am sure the athletic committee spent plenty of time worrying about Johnny 7th grader being brought up to varsity... that his talent demanded that opportunity to compete at a higher level. Good thing his talent wasn't reading, then he could stay with the rest of the kids his age, be bored, and like it.

Dropping this enrichment program smells to me like something else. NH is the only district in the region that does not name a valedictorian and salutatorian. Hurt feelings and politicking by those potentially excluded trumps the benefits of it existing.

For a district that likes to leverage the perception that it is elite, this is another decision that ignores that elite students exist. Now at the elementary level, we'll just challenge everyone the same, even if that means for some kids they have to come "down" to grade level. Yaaay teaching.
Mick

Ardsley, NY

#2 Sep 18, 2013
"
Dropping this enrichment program smells to me like something else. NH is the only district in the region that does not name a valedictorian and salutatorian. Hurt feelings and politicking by those potentially excluded trumps the benefits of it existing.
For a district that likes to leverage the perception that it is elite, this is another decision that ignores that elite students exist."
1. Suddenly introducing the fact that NH will now have a valedictorian will only send the students into chaos trying to fight for it so they won't be "forgotten."
2. If a student can read, write, and do math above average, It WILL show in class with or without delta. Elementary is when kids are meant to enjoy school. Jr high is when the "real fun" begins with an advanced acceleration program, giving 8th grade work in 7th grade, and finally, APs at the high school.
3. New hartford already has quite a few above average students. As far as I know, in the past 3 years, 3 got into cornell, 2 into HARVARD, and 1 in Yale.
parent

Morrisville, NY

#3 Sep 19, 2013
Mick wrote:
1. Suddenly introducing the fact that NH will now have a valedictorian will only send the students into chaos trying to fight for it so they won't be "forgotten."
2. If a student can read, write, and do math above average, It WILL show in class with or without delta. Elementary is when kids are meant to enjoy school. Jr high is when the "real fun" begins with an advanced acceleration program, giving 8th grade work in 7th grade, and finally, APs at the high school.
3. New hartford already has quite a few above average students. As far as I know, in the past 3 years, 3 got into cornell, 2 into HARVARD, and 1 in Yale.
Wrong on all three.

1.) Chaos, really. That's a bit strong. Not naming a valedictorian only emphasizes that excellence is not recognized. Everyone knows who has the best GPA every year. Not naming them doesn't stop kids from striving for good grades. All it does is keep their names and pictures out of the paper and the recognition off their resumes. The only thing these kids forget after HS is the "smallness" of NH. Those kids leave the area and are exposed to actual successes, and they encounter people with a wider world view than "which school board member is best for my politics?"

2. Uh, no. Grade level curriculum in elementary school is geared to the lowest common denominator, teaching kids who did not read on their own, or who are not grasping math concepts, or that didn't go to pre-school. Spelling tests are comical. Math spends five years reviewing decimal places. Fun doesn't mean easy. Take a sharp third grader and challenge them with some algebra, make them read a book that makes them think. This cannot be done effectively in the classroom. Teachers are busy enough teaching the state test to half the class.

3. That's the point. There are a lot of kids that can excel and will attend prestigeous universities. In years past those kids were in the delta program. Hopefully without it they don't miss out on an opportunity to learn, or get bored to death while the teacher spends a month reviewing fractions for the 3rd year in a row.

I am not surprised that in 2013 a district is pushing an "everyone is special, everybody wins" mentality. I think what I am most disappointed with is that there is one standard for sports, and another for academics. Elementary girls that can will make the jv cheerleading team. But going forward in NH, their school will only ask them to read or do math at grade level.
Mick

Ardsley, NY

#4 Sep 19, 2013
parent wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong on all three.
1.) Chaos, really. That's a bit strong. Not naming a valedictorian only emphasizes that excellence is not recognized. Everyone knows who has the best GPA every year. Not naming them doesn't stop kids from striving for good grades. All it does is keep their names and pictures out of the paper and the recognition off their resumes. The only thing these kids forget after HS is the "smallness" of NH. Those kids leave the area and are exposed to actual successes, and they encounter people with a wider world view than "which school board member is best for my politics?"
2. Uh, no. Grade level curriculum in elementary school is geared to the lowest common denominator, teaching kids who did not read on their own, or who are not grasping math concepts, or that didn't go to pre-school. Spelling tests are comical. Math spends five years reviewing decimal places. Fun doesn't mean easy. Take a sharp third grader and challenge them with some algebra, make them read a book that makes them think. This cannot be done effectively in the classroom. Teachers are busy enough teaching the state test to half the class.
3. That's the point. There are a lot of kids that can excel and will attend prestigeous universities. In years past those kids were in the delta program. Hopefully without it they don't miss out on an opportunity to learn, or get bored to death while the teacher spends a month reviewing fractions for the 3rd year in a row.
I am not surprised that in 2013 a district is pushing an "everyone is special, everybody wins" mentality. I think what I am most disappointed with is that there is one standard for sports, and another for academics. Elementary girls that can will make the jv cheerleading team. But going forward in NH, their school will only ask them to read or do math at grade level.
No im correct.

1. Having a valedictorian would just give parents something more to bitch about "oh why didn't myy child win?" Blah blah blah. You make it sound like everyone in NH is destined to fail regardless; that no one knows what "success" is. We're not a perfect community, but then again, what is? ask any student (bradley, hughes, myles, perry, or hs) what they think of the school board. i guarantee you almost all of them will say they don't care, or even pay attention to whats going on in the school board. All students want is to complete their work and then have fun.

2. Reread that statement. Not only does that make no sense, considering you're not the one in the classroom, but You really want to make a 3rd grader do algebra?

3. Not ALL successful kids were in the delta program. Some kids had parenrs that challenged them to read challenging books, do math activity games and books, and learn complex words, as opposed to parents that say "Heres an iphone. Go play in the other room. Of course there's going to be one standard for sports and another for academics!! Sports are mere extracurricular activities.

You'd be surprised at how the district inadvertently screws some kids over. A few years ago one got denied a scholarship because they rounded DOWN his final average , missing it by a quarter of a point. It appears you know very little of what is going on.
Gold Ribbon School

New Hartford, NY

#5 Sep 19, 2013
Mick wrote:
<quoted text>
No im correct.
1. Having a valedictorian would just give parents something more to bitch about "oh why didn't myy child win?" Blah blah blah. You make it sound like everyone in NH is destined to fail regardless; that no one knows what "success" is. We're not a perfect community, but then again, what is? ask any student (bradley, hughes, myles, perry, or hs) what they think of the school board. i guarantee you almost all of them will say they don't care, or even pay attention to whats going on in the school board. All students want is to complete their work and then have fun.
2. Reread that statement. Not only does that make no sense, considering you're not the one in the classroom, but You really want to make a 3rd grader do algebra?
3. Not ALL successful kids were in the delta program. Some kids had parenrs that challenged them to read challenging books, do math activity games and books, and learn complex words, as opposed to parents that say "Heres an iphone. Go play in the other room. Of course there's going to be one standard for sports and another for academics!! Sports are mere extracurricular activities.
You'd be surprised at how the district inadvertently screws some kids over. A few years ago one got denied a scholarship because they rounded DOWN his final average , missing it by a quarter of a point. It appears you know very little of what is going on.
The special ed students are not treated very nicely in NH. The AP push at the HS is a joke. Half the AP Chemistry kids end up getting tutored. Anything to keep on the World News Report list. Pretty funny myth about being elite.
Overdue Book

Rome, NY

#6 Sep 19, 2013
NH always pushed the AP courses, but I have to wonder if it's better to have my child struggle through an AP course and get a B or C, or not take the AP course and get an A. The administration will always push the AP courses.
Stat

Utica, NY

#7 Sep 19, 2013
Overdue Book wrote:
NH always pushed the AP courses, but I have to wonder if it's better to have my child struggle through an AP course and get a B or C, or not take the AP course and get an A. The administration will always push the AP courses.
Its all about the money. The AP courses cost extra.
Mick

Ardsley, NY

#8 Sep 19, 2013
Overdue Book wrote:
NH always pushed the AP courses, but I have to wonder if it's better to have my child struggle through an AP course and get a B or C, or not take the AP course and get an A. The administration will always push the AP courses.
While it IS true the courses cost more money, they will give you a course taught as if it were college.
I'd say go for it.
parent

Whitesboro, NY

#9 Sep 19, 2013
Mick wrote:
<quoted text>
No im correct.
1. Having a valedictorian would just give parents something more to bitch about "oh why didn't myy child win?" Blah blah blah. You make it sound like everyone in NH is destined to fail regardless; that no one knows what "success" is. We're not a perfect community, but then again, what is? ask any student (bradley, hughes, myles, perry, or hs) what they think of the school board. i guarantee you almost all of them will say they don't care, or even pay attention to whats going on in the school board. All students want is to complete their work and then have fun.
2. Reread that statement. Not only does that make no sense, considering you're not the one in the classroom, but You really want to make a 3rd grader do algebra?
3. Not ALL successful kids were in the delta program. Some kids had parenrs that challenged them to read challenging books, do math activity games and books, and learn complex words, as opposed to parents that say "Heres an iphone. Go play in the other room. Of course there's going to be one standard for sports and another for academics!! Sports are mere extracurricular activities.
You'd be surprised at how the district inadvertently screws some kids over. A few years ago one got denied a scholarship because they rounded DOWN his final average , missing it by a quarter of a point. It appears you know very little of what is going on.
You are entitled to your opinion. I will respectfully disagree.

1. Your comments drive home my point. Why didn't your child win? Because their GPA wasn't high enough. Simple as that. It is sad that complaints from parents drive decisions and school policy. The administration has empowered those who complain over those that work or earn recognition. The whole "a few bad apples ruins it for the bunch" response is a poor message to send and a bad theme to use to develop a long term strategic plan.

2. Delta math at the 3rd and 4th grade level included problems that required simple algebra and similar concepts to solve real world math problems. It was not asking students to solve quadratic equations.

3. Of course not. But just because not all successful kids began in the delta program does not mean it was useless, or that it did not create an effective environment to challenge students.

Yes, parents can, and will continue to, challenge their children academically. Of course that is far from a valid reason to end a school program that was designed to be rigorous. You wouldn't expect a school to eliminate gym because some parents challenge their kids by having them participate in sports after school, or for a school to end music because some parents are having kids take lessons privately.

Finally, I fail to see any distinction between permitting athletes to participate in activities above grade level based on the athlete's ability,...but not students.
parent too

United States

#10 Sep 19, 2013
With the Common Core standards, unfortunately the regular classroom curriculum is rigorous enough. A student misses way too much now with the new standards if pulled out of class. Students went into delta math based on final report card grades and NYS tests. Because of the tough new curriculum, students aren't getting the grades they used to. If you go by the NYS test scores which were horrid, no one would be recommended for Delta. Do you also realize that if you're in Delta math, you get pulled out for Delta whenever. You may get pulled out when your class is doing ELA or Social Studies. Then you have to make up that instruction and work. Not too easy any more to do that.
parent

Morrisville, NY

#11 Sep 20, 2013
parent too wrote:
With the Common Core standards, unfortunately the regular classroom curriculum is rigorous enough. A student misses way too much now with the new standards if pulled out of class. Students went into delta math based on final report card grades and NYS tests. Because of the tough new curriculum, students aren't getting the grades they used to. If you go by the NYS test scores which were horrid, no one would be recommended for Delta. Do you also realize that if you're in Delta math, you get pulled out for Delta whenever. You may get pulled out when your class is doing ELA or Social Studies. Then you have to make up that instruction and work. Not too easy any more to do that.
Why is it unfortunate? I welcome the higher standards. Every time there is a curriculum change the reflex reaction from teachers is that it is going to be too hard for kids. I can guarantee there will be kids in every class that can not only grasp the new curriculum and score above the 90th percentile on the state tests, but that could do that while being removed from class one day a cycle for an hour.

Seriously, what would they miss? Last year teachers spent more than a month teaching the state test. This included days teaching how to effectively answer multiple choice questions. How to identify and eliminate incorrect choices. How to guess better. I am pretty sure a kid could catch up with that "rigor" if they missed an hour a day, let alone an hour or two a cycle.

Take the top 20-25% out of class for an hour, one to two days, a cycle and have someone teach them something, During that hour the classroom teacher can take some time away from text-ing and teach or reinforce core concepts with the rest of the class.

For 50-years teaches have preached the benefits of smaller class sizes. Now the district is going to eliminate a program that results in smaller classes and leverages that to teach more effectively. Makes perfect sense.
For real

Whitesboro, NY

#12 Sep 20, 2013
AP courses do not cost anything to take. If you want to take the test for college credit it is a small fee, under a hundered dollars. They do not have a valedictorian etc. because it is hard to make it fair when you have students taking a very basic curriculum and those taking advanced classes. In order to encourage students to take the most challenging curriculum, they divide it into graduating with honors, high honors and highest honors.

Level 6

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#13 Sep 20, 2013
NYS is judging school districts not on the number of students who score high on the state tests but on the number of students who score low. There is no reward for school districts that have high scorers but there are punishments for districts that score low. This has the effect of having districts invest more time and money on bringing up the slower students at the expense of those students who are doing well. It looks better for a district to have most of their kids scoring 3ís than some scoring 4ís and some scoring 2ís.

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