Sunday, February 05, 2006

More thoughts on the 37.5

This article in the NYT got me thinking about the 37.5 situation in my school. The article points out that while in some high performing schools kids will get after school enrichment programs rather than tutoring. In some of the lowest performing schools, some of the kids with 1's and 2's will be left out because there just aren't enough teachers to meet the needs of all the kids at just 10 students per teacher.

I know that at my school we were supposed to choose our students based on a list we were given of students with 1's and 2's. These children were sent letters saying they were mandated to attend. )Teachers also handed out letters to students saying they could voluntarily attend.) As I mentioned before we also have a couple of enrichment programs going on. We have two teachers doing drama, two teachers doing yearbook, one Spanish enrichment group, and some program called Orchid (I'm not sure how many teachers are participating).

That's at least 6 teachers (60 students). I find it hard to believe that at my school we don't need every possible teacher targeting the students with 1's and 2's. I'm not complaining. I'm happy to be doing yearbook and not math. And I think that these programs will be fun for the kids (who can't be selected if they have 1's or 2's). I just wonder what sort of accountability there is for the schools to offer enough math and reading tutoring where it is needed. Are we leaving out at least 60 kids who need the extra help in core subjects out because of these enrichment programs?

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And as a side note, as of Friday there were still plenty of teachers who still didn't know what they were supposed to be doing for the 37.5 minutes. I guess they won't have anything planned. Frizz, your school gave you lesson plans??

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