Monday, September 12, 2016

Education Lessons From A Sparkly District: What A Difference A Year Makes

Education Lessons From A Sparkly District: What A Difference A Year Makes:

What A Difference A Year Makes


A year ago, I wrote about a student's 8th grade class schedule in a Newark middle school. You can read that post here. It was also later picked up by Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post. The Newark schedule was in stark contrast to what schedules look like in suburban and wealthier districts throughout the state.

This was his 8th grade schedule:




The parents, both from multi-generational Newark families, and their son, struggled with the lack of variety within the school day. I would characterize that schedule as oppressive. How can children thrive on a day that looks like that? I know lots of people will think (and feel free to rail against me for suggesting otherwise) there's nothing wrong with a monotonous day filled with English language arts and math. That art, gym, chorus, music, languages, etc. are for those who "deserve" it and not for students who live in a place where high test scores are the only thing keeping their local schools open. 

At the end of last school year, the parents made the very tough decision to leave their city, their home, behind and head for the Jersey shore. Yes, they were fortunate to be able to afford to do so. Not everyone is in that position.

What their son experienced in 8th grade was enough for them to say no more. They wanted 
Education Lessons From A Sparkly District: What A Difference A Year Makes:



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