Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summer School: An easy credit

I think I have explained that the cheerleaders are running the concession stand for summer school/extended year and an arts camp at the school. For about 3 hours of work, we make $130 per day. Not bad, hunh? Except that I do most of the work. Next year, I may run it on my own for summer money. But that's not the discussion.

As I was talking to my cheerleaders about summer/extended year school, they made some interesting comments. One of the girls recognized a lot of the students b/c they were they were the "smarties" who realized they could go to summer school if they failed. Cheerleader R said, "That boy never did any work. He was planning on going to summer school."

I further explained how the program worked:

  1. Students must be retaking a core class.

  2. Students must have at least 50 in the course. Remember, my school district rant of how we are encouraged to give students 50's instead of the real grade they made. (specific situations) Remember, this is not a district policy, but something some of the schools do.

  3. It is completely computer based. Teachers are present in the room to assist student if they don't understand a concept. But students go through it by themselves. They take a test at the end of each lesson. (Some how the grades they makes on these tests are averaged with the grade that they get in the course)

  4. Its only 3 1/2 weeks long (3 1/2 hours each day for each course the student is taking)

So, as I talked with my girls, they said "It's not fair." As they thought about it, they came to this conclusion:

We work hard, pass the class, do the homework the first time around. They come
here for 3 hours and can pass the course after not doing anything all year. It's
NOT right. Except for cheer and my parents, there is no incentive to do the work
during the school year or even come to school. Because I can just come to
summer school and complete a years worth of work.

I said nothing and just listened.
However, I agree, especially since teachers are encouraged to give students grades they didn't earn.


Lara said...

wow, that is an unfair process, i agree. i'd be upset, too, if i were a student there. the school i worked at this past year had the same policy of easy (in my opinion) redemption, and serious pressure on the teachers to give students passing grades in the end. it always rubbed me the wrong way.

happychyck said...

The summer school mentality was popular at a school where I taught. The smug little buggers would sit and literally do nothing all semester because going to summer school was an easier credit. They didn't care that it ate up part of their summer, I guess. The last two years I was there, I taught summer school, and I made sure it was the most miserable thing a student could ever experience. I actually tried to cram a semester's worth of work in those weeks. (I think it was 60 hours.) If they missed more than two assignments, they were kicked out of summer school, so they had no choice but to finally do SOMETHING!

Sure it took more work on my end, but I was hoping that word would get out that summer school was punishment instead of an easy ride. THAT mentality made it easier to deal with lazy students who like to work the system throughout the year.

Bowrag said...

This is true.. but remember, the cheer girls should be able to lay by the pool, listen to their ipods, or do whatever they want.....

While the kids that farted off grades and are now in summer school actually have to get up and give up their summer.

but I get the girls point also.