Note: November 20, 2011
This is the first post that I am migrating over from the old blog. More will follow. Tonight I am just going to post a few to test out the system.
Cross-posted from: www.democracyindistress.com
Okay, I think the phrase "No-Fail Zone" just got added to my lexicon. This is not a good zone for a kid to be in. Sometimes life comes with disappointments, and the time to learn how to deal with them is when you are young, not when you are out in the world on your own. Kids need to fail sometimes just so they can build some coping skills, and they need to succeed, hopefully much more often, to build confidence.
More so, they also need to learn that things like grades are rewards for work well done. If they don't do the work, failure must be an option.
Here's the post from DinD and some article excerpts from Cracked.com:
Recess, p.e. class, textbooks, summer breaks, Valedictorians and other honors, and failing grades. Some of these, for parents with kids in school these days, well... We've seen the writing on the wall. Others, like the end of summer breaks, I've been hearing about since I was in school twenty years ago and it doesn't seem any closer than it did twenty years ago.
Using tablets and e-readers seems inevitable, but most of the other changes predicted by this writer do not, to me, feel like improvements.
The thing that is really killing us in our district is the budget cuts. Already, the boys have nearly as many weeks with four school days as they do with five, and the district is having to cut five more days because of budget short falls. We'll these dates will be announced when the district finished negotiating the timing with the teacher's union.
And these sorts of cuts are not recent. At the end of the 2004-2005 school year, the Portland School District elementary school sent a survey around asking which staff member to lay off, the librarian, the p.p. teacher or the music teacher. The school was already without a counselor.
At the end of the 2009-2010 school year, Gresham-Barlow S. D. was where Portland was five years earlier.
I don't think summer vacations are going away any time soon. If anything, they are getting longer. But it might be time to look at how all this down time is organized, though having all those long breaks would be murder on working, single parents.
Anyway, this article is not too deep, but it does have some entertaining food for thought...
"You remember recess, right? It was that one time when you could ditch the desks and run around in a frenzied scramble like an extra-caffeinated Bosstone. Whether you spent your 20 minutes hurling dodge balls at dorks or cowering under the slides (to hide from the dodge balls), recess has been an institution for generations. And thank goodness for recess. At a time when kids are tripping over their guts and trailing their asses on the sidewalk behind them, a few minutes of physical activity can be just what the doctor ordered. Literally.
Going Away Because ...
Four little letters: NCLB.
For those of you who have been out of the school loop for the past decade, those letters stand for "No Child Left Behind," which has, for better or worse, done a serious number on American education. Here's why: In 2001, President Bush and Congress passed a law saying we had to get better at school, specifically reading, language arts, math and science. Fair enough."
And failing grades? I agree and disagree with the concept, much like the writer. As long as we are rewarding our kids for real work, not just being overprotective of their feelings or, even worse, creating a situation where it is possible to keep moving through the system without actually learning anything, which I've heard of happening too, because it is just too difficult to fail a kid or to hold them back for a year.
More from Cracked...
"Failure makes students feel bad. And nobody wants that, do they?
Which is why programs like Zeros Aren't Permitted (ZAP!) are getting implemented everywhere from California to Michigan. In a no-fail zone, students can get an A, B, C, D or H, which presumably stands for "Ha ha ha! You didn't think we would give you an F, did you??? Give us a hug, apple dumpling!"
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