Here's a program that has got to be eliminated tomorrow.
The summer school program at my high school is a joke. My school is one of 6 high schools in the district, and every year, one of them hosts summer school for the entire district. My school's number came up this year and my classroom is being used to teach a class. I've had to swing by my room a couple of times so far this summer, and let me be the first to say, this program sucks.
The first problem with our program is that it is only offered to kids who failed the class during the school year. The kids that didn't show up, and when they did, they didn't try. Well, what about the kid who wants to get ahead in mathematics? What about the sophomore who wants to take Geometry so she can take Pre Calc as a junior? Where is our help for our most deserving and motivated students?
By limiting summer school to only the students who failed the class, you almost immediately doom the class to behavioral problems and an overall negative culture. Can there be a worse idea? Put all of the students who failed a class into a summer school class they don't want to be in? There is a direct correlation between classroom performance and classroom behavior. There is no educational benefit to having such a homogeneous group.
But my biggest problem with summer school is this. How can a kid learn 10 months of material in 3 weeks? He had 10 months to learn the stuff. Teachers provided lectures, notes, activities, tests, posters, homework etc. all to help students retain the knowledge. 10 months. Now, magically, the kid is going to learn the material in 3 weeks? C'mon. In math, that would be a chapter a day. A CHAPTER A DAY!!!!! There is no way you can teach a mathematics chapter, let alone some complicated section, AND HAVE ANY STUDENT RETENTION, in one day. And this to the clientele in the room? C'MON!!
And why is it that both times I have had to go to my room to get something out of my files, the teacher in my room is sitting at my desk and the kids are either talking, sleeping, eating, ipoding, texting, or throwing shit on my floors?