It certainly must seem to be simpler to teach those students who are smarter, better prepared, enthusiastic, and better behaved, but are we reaching all of the students?<quoted text>
First off, it is annoying to see you post exactly the same thing over and over again - like the saying goes, if you are not part of the solution, your part of the problem. And, exactly what education are these 2000 kids receiving that isn't what us taxpayers funded? These students are often in the same classes as those that are doing "accelerated" or "advanced". And if they are not in the advanced classes, they often times have the same teacher.
My suggestion, take some time and sit in on a couple classes - first the enriched or advanced classes and then the basic classes. Take a look at the kids, the ones in the advanced classes want to learn, are engaged, and trying to do their best. The ones in the basic classes are often times rude, disrespectful, and doing lots of other things in the classroom to avoid learning. I
Now I don't want to discredit any of those 2000 kids that are not doing well but before complaining about the education that they are not receiving make sure you fully understand what it is that they are willing to receive. I'm willing to bet there isn't a teacher out there that wouldn't take some extra time to help a struggling student if only that student asked. So why don't the parents and students want more out of the education we are providing?
You can't put all of the blame on the school district!
The kids in the basic classes have been getting by learning less than 40% of the material since they started school. It is little wonder that they have opted out of the program for we have taught them
that 40% of the material is good enough.
But is it?
If you have two students who begin first grade together, sit in the same class rooms together, and then take the OAA test together in the third grade, you would think that their results would be similar. In the beginning they are actually not that far apart, primarily because the amount of material to be covered is not that large.
Watching the gradual decline of our OAA scores on the same classes of children year in and year out reveal a disturbing pattern of regression with the test results. Children who are not expected to master material most often do not. This has catastrophic consequences with each proceeding year's testing. If the fundamental building blocks of knowledge are not mastered early it becomes incrementally more difficult to make those lost skills up in a regular classroom. Holes develop in a child's knowledge base that cause them to be unable to process new skill sets being taught for lack of proper foundational learning the year or two prior. Thus each year our test results show our children tumbling down the test results scale toward failure.
It is little wonder these children become the way they do. We fill their head with semantic nonsense about achievement when we know full and well they are failing. They keep hearing these euphemistic terms used to describe their progress and they begin to question themselves and the amount of effort it takes to sit at the front of the class. Rather than teaching them at an early age what it takes to be successful, we fill their heads with false platitudes. These platitudes, however, are scant replacement for actual knowledge. Frustration will no doubt grow with each passing year as less and less is absorbed and bewilderment replaces enthusiasm for learning.
The first step in the solution is to quit lying to ourselves, to the parents, and to the children.
PROFICIENT = FAILURE
Understand that and rectify the situation before we sacrifice another class to the euphemistic gods of education.
There are consequences to our semantic and euphemistic false praise, and the children are the ones who are ultimately paying the price.