kitchen table math, the sequel: full stop

Saturday, July 3, 2010

full stop

Our school system has solved their efficiency problem by not only slowing gifted students but seemingly requiring them to stop all forward momentum. No acceleration and no 'enrichment' either. If you're done with an assignment alphabetize folders or tutor another student.


Same here. When full inclusion came six years ago, enrichment and in-class ability grouping were totally canceled in the elementary. Nothing above grade level can be offered. The old practice of going to a different class or grade to join an appropriate reading group was ended. If the student is done, s/he can read, draw, or navel gaze.


My own district replaced the SRA math series with Math Trailblazers 6 years ago, eliminating achievement grouping as part of the package. Since Trailblazers moves more slowly than SRA, this meant that the advanced students were doubly decelerated. They lost their accelerated curriculum and they were now learning less in the regular curriculum than the non-accelerated kids had learned in the past.

Recently the superintendent told the school board that Trailblazers is built for and depends upon heterogeneous grouping; if you're going to have Trailblazers you can't have grouping and if you're going to have grouping you can't have Trailblazers.

So naturally she's committed to Trailblazers.


SteveH said...

In our town, full-inclusion comes first. They try to make it work with differentiated learning. They claim that it provides a better education, but they also claim that private schools can do more because the kids are "pre-selected". It makes no sense. Of course.

Public schools can "pre-select" kids, but they choose not to. They know that the more able kids are not properly supported by differentiated learning. They know that they could fix that if they wanted to. They know that Singapore Math is more rigorous than TERC. They don't want to separate kids by ability even if that means providing a worse education. They point to the kids who do well and don't ask questions.

SteveH said...

I hold these truths to be self-evident.

concerned said...

This caught my eye...
"No acceleration and no 'enrichment' either. If you're done with an assignment alphabetize folders or tutor another student."

They first thought I had a learning problem, then decided after a year or so that I was "gifted" (whatever that means...) Their gifted program in elementary school consisted of learning how to conduct independent research. Finding sources, etc. It was a good start, I think, but I was bored after a while and chose not to participate...

I was thrilled to learn, when my oldest attend a private school many, many years ago, that they were doing that same thing for ALL of their first grade students. What a great start!

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