Tuesday, January 20


Kerry Sylvia, Real Education Reform DC - Right before the holiday break I received an e-mail inviting me to be a teacher in this year's 2009 Saturday Scholars program. After looking at the details provided, it seems like the program is going to be a huge investment - hundreds of teachers will be paid $30/hour for 5 and a half hours each Saturday, January 24-April 18. . .

The program's focus is to help "DCPS students prepare for the spring 2009 DC-CAS." As a teacher who continues to witness DC schools still lacking in so many areas - resources, supplies, enrichment activities, teachers - it is extremely frustrating to see more money and programs focusing on "teaching to the test".

To make matters worse, "The Saturday Scholars program is an intervention strategy for students who are on the cusp of proficiency for Reading and Math on the DC-CAS."

Where are the programs for the students who are at below basic? What about the students in my World History class who are reading at a 4th grade level? Or, the students who cannot pass Algebra because they don't have basic math skills? So, not only are we teaching to the test, but we are choosing to ignore those that need help the most.

What are the priorities of DCPS? Is it really about children first? Or is it about making ourselves look good?

Could DCPS' focus on improving its measures of "student achievement" actually be in conflict with what's best for student learning?


At 3:57 PM, Blogger reaster said...

I am teaching Saturday Scholars now and I make sure all my students scoring basic come because they just need a little push. while I agree that the administration should work on improving academic achievement for all kids I still think we need programs of this type that targets students closer to proficiency.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Reaster. At least we have a program that targets kids at the basic level. It's more strategic to have interventions for different groups of kids and not assume that every student is below basic. I worked for the Saturday Academy under Superintendent Janey and that was awful. My principal asked me to work on a Thursday and teh program started Saturday. I did not receive any material or textbook. I have to come up with my own curriculum. Saturday Scholars is a huge improvement.

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

I disagree Kerry. We do way too much for below basic students. I don't teach Saturday Scholars but some of my students attend. My kids love this program and I feel is helping them. Let's try to place the criticism where it belongs.


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