Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Remedial Classes vs. Electives

(or It's My Blog so I'll Rant if I Want To #2)

On February 12, an editorial ran in the Albuquerque Journal. This paragraph, from the article, is in reference to Albuquerque Public Schools (APS):
“Last year 6,250 ninth- and 11th-graders tested as not proficient in English, 5,343 in math. This fall, high schoolers who don't test proficient in those core subjects will have to take remedial courses to get them up to speed. And unless schedules change, that remedial course will be in lieu of an elective.”
The editor goes on to express his opinion that this move is “vital . . . if all APS grads are going to become productive members of society.” His recommendation is for schools to switch to block schedules that would accommodate both remedial coursework and an elective of the student's choosing.

In today’s Journal there are eight student responses, from a social studies class at a local middle school. I understand these are middle school students, so I would not expect perfection in spelling, grammar, or logic. However, when I read their responses today, I was actually embarrassed for them, especially considering that they wrote these letters knowing that they would be published in the newspaper.

Their own letters to the editor, which were intended to dispute the proposed APS policy, are, instead, prime evidence for the policy’s necessity, in my opinion. Below are a few excerpts from the letters, with all spelling and grammar exactly as it was written. Of the eight letters, there were two that were well-written for middle-schoolers (one of which was the only one in favor of the new policy). Of the other six letters, the following excerpts are typical.
“Are teacher read this article on Monday and I and other kids in are class wasn’t very happy about it.”

“I didn’t like that they toke out are elective because I heard that there was really good electives in High School.”

“I think thats not fair to the kids that are chalened in those euents because what if they dont get a good score? What if you were that kid would you wont to have your eletive tooken away.”

“The “ALL WORK, NO PLAY” artical was a pice of crap.”

“If we have to do even more we are in trouble and so will our grades . . . Comeing from a kid myself belive me this wont help us, if anything it will get us more confused haveing to do like two math clases if we dont get such a good grade on that part of the test.”

Well . . .

What do you think? Might remedial coursework be in order?


Anonymous said...

The remedial coursework should begin ASP!.....Genie

Anonymous said...

There is something wrong with our school system, for certain! Awhile back I did some typing for a certain University. I was to type exactly what the students wrote by hand. I was shocked to see the spelling and grammar used by college students. I fear we are not teaching our young people the basic things they need to go out in the world to work. What a shame. All that talent going to waste. These are our future leaders.

Kelsey said...

Yeah, that's terribal. The educashion them kids get these daze is really sad.

I think computers are partly to blame. Who needs to learn proper grammar and spelling when the computer will do it for you?

Seeing things like this make me cringe and wonder if public school is really where I want to send Clara when the time comes.

After editing theses and dissertations for formatting and seeing the awful grammatical and spelling mistakes, I too wonder how students make it that far with such horrendous writing skills. That's one of my sore spots.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing and SAD!