I agree with this to a certain degree. I think AP classes are great for kids who need/want them. The push for all high school kids to take AP is what bothers me. It should be okay for a kid to take high school classes in high school. They should be high school classes of sufficient quality that a kid is still prepared to go to college if they so choose.
I recently had an acquaintance quit her job at a charter school teaching AP English. This school had a rule that all seniors had to take AP English. Unfortunately, half of them were unprepared for an intro level university class and were failing. The school administration wanted the teacher to make the class easier. She refused if they were still going to call it AP. Her argument was that if you call it AP you need to keep it at that level. It should be okay for kids to take another english class their senior year if they weren't yet ready for AP. Or, she said we need to just call it 12th grade English. The admin refused so she quit. I have to say I rather respected her choice. :-)
One major issue with high schools, they are not preparing kids for college. Kids are going to college and having to take remedial courses to get them up to the level they need to be.
I think this is a difficult issue without one solution.
1. One is parents, to many parents make excuses and expect way to little from their child. Your child has ADHD - it makes things harder don't say they can't figure out how they can. Many parents find excuses to not being able to read or take active involvement, and their child's behavior. I have seen kids behavior drastically change when the parents put their foot down. I have wonder how many discipline problems in the classroom would be solved if the parents were told the child can return when they could act right (My step-mom teaches k-2nd, she has one child that called her a stupid whore cracker, multiple times. That comes from the home and should not be a problem of the school. Yes, I think the school has a right to dump the child back onto the parents. In some cases. She went through h*%% to get the child removed from her classroom. She could no longer emotionally deal with child and the mom. In 24 years of teaching that particular child was the only child she could not fell she could work with or through the situation.)
2. One is the teachers, bad teachers need to be let go. I also think how we train teacher's to teach fails to give them the skill they need. Team teaching and a longer student teacher status paring up with an older teacher would help. I do think that there are many teachers that have no clue on how to handle children's natural behaviors - it becomes easier to label than deal. Many teachers pick the wrong battles to fight. Wiggle butts in chairs do not necessarily mean a bad student but different teaching skills and sometimes ignoring. Also, in early years multi-age group were kids move forward based on ability not age. The show competency in set skill they move to next level. If there is no or slow progression intervention. I do feel teachers are often set up to fail.
3. Policy makers, many times school policy setters also are counterproductive and inhibiting to teacher to do their job. I do agree with a national curriculum, like "What your X grader should know, but the teacher needs to find the best way to make it work with in the classroom. Policies often make teachers social workers and everything other than teachers. Policies often make it impossible to get kids and teachers the help they need. And yes, sometimes the help they need is to be told - bring your child back when they can act right.
I started homeschooling after an incompetent kindergarten teacher of 20 years missed that my son had dysgraphia. She should not have missed that he could not hold a picture. Then he did one month of first grade -- policy had 3 kindergarten classes going into. Then they tried to fix it by having a certified 6th grade teacher teach 1st because she held the right certificate. She was a great 6th grade teacher not a good first grade teacher (but that is not her fault, but a policy and training issue that could have been solved with team teaching).
Nobody wants to take blame, and there is not one place to blame everyone is at fault for our issues. And not a one single fix.
Edited by Marsupialmom - 1/12/11 at 9:51am