Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To much homework...

I'm not the only person that thinks our kids have to much homework. Claudia Wallis has a great article entitled The Myth About Homework.

LAUSD eliminates achievement gap... really!

A while back there was some minor debate in the edublogosphere about Charles Murray's opinion piece on the gaming of the achievement gap. Well the LAUSD has finally managed to eliminate the achievement gap. How you ask? By officially redefining it as the "proficiency gap". The proficiency gap is defined as

"100% minus the percent of a subgroup scoring Proficient or above (Proficiency+) on official performance assessments (i.e., California Standards Tests). For example, if 55 percent of students in a subgroup scores Proficient or above on the California Standards Test - English Language Arts, then the English Language Arts Proficiency Gap for that subgroup would be 45 percent;"

This is of course is awesome, because if lets say you manage to get one group scoring 100% proficient on the exam and another group scores 100% advanced on the exam, you still dont have a gap!

Talented and Gifted... what a waste!

How can our schools be expected to teach the average child when they can't even teach the gifted students. My son is in the talented and gifted (TAG) program this year. It's a pull out program that involves pulling him out of his normal class one afternoon a week. Today I went to the school district office to speak to the administrator about the curriculum that they would be using. I was quite disappointed to learn that there would be no accelerated learning, instead they would by using constructivism to learn the same material as everyone else, but more in depth. My son was placed in the program because of his math skills, so I was hoping that they would be able to challenge him by teaching him at a faster pace. He has long since learned the multiplication tables, but instead of moving right along to division, he will have to wait another two months while every one else masters 7 x 6 = 42. Once again we will have to suck it up at home to challenge our children, but with the hour of homework, soccer practice, the baby, our homework, dinner, its getting more and more difficult to find the time.