Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Abbot and Costello Invent Everyday Math

Thats right... I have a time machine... and you can watch it here.

Via Mindless Math Mutterings, hat tip to Instructivist.

NCGA: No Child Gets Ahead

Promising miracles at Joanne Jacobs

Joanne Jacobs, points to an article in Education Next that mentioned one of my pet peeves, academic acceleration, or the lack of it in our schools.

"accelerating instruction for the 2 percent of students capable of benefiting from it."
BS... I think that at least 15 to 20% of students would benefit from academic acceleration. Walk into any middle class classroom in this country and there will be at least that many students who are bored and ready to move on while the teacher remediates the rest of the class.

Besides, there is no true acceleration in this country. Those who would point to things like 7th and 8th grade algebra as acceleration are wrong... that is advancement, not acceleration. It still takes 3 years for these kids to get to Calculus, just like it would take 3 years for a student who started Algebra I in 10th grade.

True acceleration would have students progress through a years worth of study in say 6 - 9 months. If acceleration was done properly, there would be a cumulative effect; each year accelerated students would be further and further ahead of their peers in standard paced classes.

I also ran across this article JS ONLINE: Law lacks direction for gifted students pointing out that Gifted Education is haphazard in this country.

What the law doesn't mandate is how students such as Adam will be educated - even though state legislators have identified programming for students with gifts and talents as one of 20 essential components of public education. The result? A mixed bag of approaches for how Wisconsin students identified as gifted are educated. Some are taught in regular classes with alternative activities to help speed them through lessons. Others are pulled out of class for about an hour a week of special instruction. Some may find a spot in a magnet program with other gifted students. And others get no special instruction at all.
While I am a supporter of No Child Left Behind and its high expectations and accountability requirements, I can't help but wonder if it should also be referred to as the No Child Gets Ahead.

I am starting to think that Gifted and Talented programs should just be eliminated in our schools. If schools truly served the needs of all students, there would be no need for "named" programs, just high quality education that best serves all students reguardless of abilities.

p.s. I accidently posted this here at KTM, I forgot to change the dropdown box on the blogger window, sorry.