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Old 08-08-2020, 10:46 AM
 
Location: NMB, SC
7,391 posts, read 1,990,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Or we may find they can accomplish the same results in half the time. I fall into the camp that students should be allowed to advance when they are ready to advance, not when the calendar say so. I would include both academic and maturity considerations in the definition of "ready" so it would have to be an individualistic decision and not a check the box automatic one.

Think back to your own time in school and how much time was spent repeating the same thing that had just been taught multiple times. Or how some students would work together intentionally to get the teacher off track by asking the same question again and again. Eliminate that time waste and you could finish the school year in February.
When I was in school we got tested and separated into 3 different classes at each grade based on how we scored on the tests.

I think today's mantra of putting all skill levels in the same class does more harm than good. The highly skilled get bored and the least skilled get left behind. Nobody wins here except the social justice bureaucrats who think they did something good for society.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:13 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,166 posts, read 43,916,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
When I was in school we got tested and separated into 3 different classes at each grade based on how we scored on the tests.

I think today's mantra of putting all skill levels in the same class does more harm than good. The highly skilled get bored and the least skilled get left behind. ..
Alternative idea for some of the high achievers... Make their grades relevant to their contribution to the success and achievement of the ENTIRE class (just like when they grow up and get a job...)... Such as, mentoring and tutoring others / different grade levels, teaching some of the things they have already mastered. That will keep them engaged and motivated and learning at a higher level.

For Covid, it would benefit the 1:1 time that teachers will not be able to provide. And reduce the risk of Covid spread and exposure to staff.

Of course not all will be appropriate to do this, but many would jump at the chance, and likely excel.

There are other things you could task the high acheivers with, like helping staff create meaningful on-line learning opportunities, and doing community / school research and data collection and processing for Covid tracking and community response / success / failure. Let them OWN it!

Quite a lot of applicable science and math opportunities.

Nutrition and food security is another thing kids would be very capable and interested in, and valuable to future generation health! And they could teach their parents how to buy the "Right-(quality) foods' with their Snap benefits. ! I really FEAST when my renters move out and leave a couple weeks groceries behind, they can afford much better food than I. (but usually not too nutritious / healthy).

I'm quite positive for mixed age and talent learning... (I attended a country school, going to town for HS was a disaster and very eye opening as to how NOT to educate and engage active 'learners'. ) I am sure 100% of my country school peers felt the same way. Why bother with this 'social nightmare' termed USA public school, age segregated learning (?) ?
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:33 PM
 
204 posts, read 46,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Alternative idea for some of the high achievers... Make their grades relevant to their contribution to the success and achievement of the ENTIRE class (just like when they grow up and get a job...)... Such as, mentoring and tutoring others / different grade levels, teaching some of the things they have already mastered. That will keep them engaged and motivated and learning at a higher level.
That's a great idea on paper, but in practice I doubt it. Personal experience - last year I was lucky enough to have a long maternity leave. One of my son's best friends, who's in the same class, was struggling and the teachers were saying he may get held over next year. I talked to my son and we both decided to help. I offered our help to the kid's mom, and instead of him going to afterschool we started picking him up and doing homework at our house. The boys had a great time, but the homework... this boy was struggling for a reason. No amount of studing with his pal who knows the subject was enough to fix that. In the end the mom ended up finding a tutor that specializes in explaining the subject one-on-one. It takes someone with experience in teaching to help kids who are having a hard time. Making another kid responsible for it... maybe it works sometimes, but in our experience it was a total fail.

And now, there's also the question of, how many parents are going to be comfortable having another child studying in their house? Is it even safe? This stupid virus has cut off almost every way that people normally help others, because so many of these ways involve being near each other in person.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:39 PM
 
204 posts, read 46,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
How much K-12 school should be missed before all kids are left back for 1 year?
Well normally our school does hold back children who are really struggling. But it's usually just a handful of children per class, and they're getting held back because they're really not understanding the subject - attention disorders, youngest in class, not mature enough... This year you're going to have many kids who are perfectly capable of catching up if they were not stuck at home or in some less-than-great child care situation. Maybe the answer is to have the kids take a test at the beginning of next year. The ones who kept up with the subject would study next year's program as usual, and the ones who need catching up would all be in the same class, with a teacher who focuses on making sure they do catch up before moving on to the new stuff. Or two teachers, even. Our school has an integrated special ed class with two teachers - it seems to work out well enough. I don't know if this is common in other schools though.
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:02 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,166 posts, read 43,916,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGG2020 View Post
That's a great idea on paper, but in practice I doubt it. Personal experience - ...finding a tutor that specializes in explaining the subject one-on-one. It takes someone with experience in teaching to help kids who are having a hard time. Making another kid responsible for it... maybe it works sometimes, but in our experience it was a total fail.

And now, there's also the question of, how many parents are going to be comfortable having another child studying in their house? Is it even safe? ...

Good points, my idea was to be doing this mentoring at School
(which ours are opening) / or library (ours are open) or a 'safe place' that the kids are together anyway. (under the direction of a teacher or skills specialist).

Unfortunately, being near / direct contact is really essential for some learners and will be a challenge, but kids are wizards at detecting and addressing challenges. Our kids always tutored and mentored and they taught me a lot (Why didn't I think of that?) well.... I'm an Adult, so it never even crossed my mind

Thanks for trying, and engaging your kid in the effort. It will pay huge dividends in their future. Ironically, we never know what our personal impact is until much later (if at all).

Good movie related to this... "The Basket"

little 'slow' story line, but a very interesting evolution and illustration of diversity and barriers.
Not what you expect,
Great cinematography and music track.

Family friendly (School age)

I wrote to the director to see if he could release it for diversity training at my company.

He was great and sent me a full sound track too!
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:30 PM
 
1,868 posts, read 1,206,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
How much K-12 school should be missed before all kids are left back for 1 year?

If "left back" isn't the current terminology, I apologize. I have no dog in this fight (no kids in school). I'm just referring to repeating a grade. I'm not looking for a specific answer, either, just a discussion.

Should they have to take a test to be promoted to the next grade because they missed so much school? And yes, I know some kids were home schooled which might be why a test should determine it.
Reset year.

Make sure those kids/families who depend on schools for food, safe space, mental/emotional counseling, etc. are cared for. Make sure those kids who needs developmental assistance/special education are taken care for. So on and so on.

For the rest, make resources available to them to keep them on pace - not fall backward.

When this passes - if it passes - return. If the Class of 2024 becomes the Class of 2025 because we - the greater "We" - decided to keep them and us safe while health professionals and scientists worked on it, what is the big deal? I, mean, aside from possibly saving more lives and long-term health issues (Covid is going to be a huge cause of pre-existing conditions for the next several decades, I suspect).
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
27,237 posts, read 17,613,090 times
Reputation: 41968
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
When I was in school we got tested and separated into 3 different classes at each grade based on how we scored on the tests.

I think today's mantra of putting all skill levels in the same class does more harm than good. The highly skilled get bored and the least skilled get left behind. Nobody wins here except the social justice bureaucrats who think they did something good for society.
Putting all students together is not a “mantra.”

And, my experience was not yours. Your experience was likely not the norm. I do remember divided reading groups. And better students were often given “enrichment” classes. One year I was placed in some higher performing classes, but this program did not last long.

Just as school experiences differ greatly across the country, I expect there to be different solutions to local concerns. Much will depend on state mandates, grant monies, and budgets.
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Old 08-08-2020, 03:55 PM
 
8,209 posts, read 4,635,902 times
Reputation: 22206
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
When I was in school we got tested and separated into 3 different classes at each grade based on how we scored on the tests.

I think today's mantra of putting all skill levels in the same class does more harm than good. The highly skilled get bored and the least skilled get left behind. Nobody wins here except the social justice bureaucrats who think they did something good for society.
Yep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Alternative idea for some of the high achievers... Make their grades relevant to their contribution to the success and achievement of the ENTIRE class (just like when they grow up and get a job...)... Such as, mentoring and tutoring others / different grade levels, teaching some of the things they have already mastered. That will keep them engaged and motivated and learning at a higher level.

...?
It's been tried. The reality is those kids need help for a reason that's way beyond the ability of a classmate to fix. It's not just about some homework or study help, but behavior, learning issues, or just plan don't give a crap from both students and parents. The best help is to separate out into three levels like mentioned above -- the top students, the average or typical students, and those who need special help. And this is just talking about students who can be in regular classrooms. Special ed is a whole 'nother thing.
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
6,834 posts, read 4,514,508 times
Reputation: 11735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post
Yes. If they don't meet standards or pass assessments from previous in-school years, because distance learning is inadequate, they shouldn't just be shoved through the system to make quotas. I think it's more realistic to ask "how can we handle 20-40% of kids repeating their current grade?"

Honestly if I were a superintendent this is how I would approach it. Online learning is generally inadequate, although it does work for some self-directed and motivated students.

I'd have the teachers develop some kind of benchmark testing to see if students can hack the next grade. The students who did well with online learning will pass & we can put them in the next grade. The ones that don't, just have those students repeat the grade level. Try not to make this seem like they're slow or stupid, and characterize it as simply losing a year because of the disaster that was covid. What we DO NOT want is a bunch of students advanced through the elementary grades who did not learn to read and write properly, and hit a wall as they go forward.

At the middle & high school levels, there's probably a way to mix and match subjects that would result in some students only needing an extra semester to catch up instead of a whole year. Summer school could also fill in some gaps. E.g. some students may have studied more at home on science than on English, for example. So they take English courses over two summers & catch up that way. Then they can graduate in December 2024.

So we'd have a smaller class of 2024 than usual and larger class of 2025. Adjust logistics accordingly. No harm no foul as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:57 AM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
7,592 posts, read 3,409,405 times
Reputation: 22115
Yeah, realistically they all should be held back a year. It won't happen because that's an additional year of per student funding the federal government needs to provide for every K-12 public school student.
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