Thursday, July 20, 2017
From Reaching For The Stars To Back To Basics.
Over the last few years, many schools were pushing their students into higher level Math and Science courses. This was known as "reaching for the stars". It also didn't hurt that the DOE gave high schools extra points for the total number of students who took these higher level Math and Science courses. However, many parents and students started to complain that these higher level courses of Algebra II (Trigonometry), Chemistry, and Physics were a "bridge too far" for the students Moreover, many schools pushed students to take these courses, despite the added pressure, stress, and reluctance to take these courses that many were destined to fail..
One of the reasons that many low performing schools pushed students to take Chemistry and or Physics was the lack of certified Earth Science teachers as well as getting more credit as a school bu the DOE. According to the ATR pool there was only one certified Earth Science high school teacher available, citywide, in June and he had just came out of his 3020-a hearing that Spring. Moreover, many schools use teachers not certified in Earth Science to teach the Regents Science course and, for the most part, their students did poorly. Finally, many seniors, are forced to take the Common Core Algebra II Regents and complain bitterly about taking a difficult Math course that means little to their college acceptance since the Regents is given after the student received their acceptance letter.
Some forward thinking school administrators are finally seeing the light and realize that to "reach for the stars" you need the academic tools to built a spaceship to get their and far too many students lack those tools. Therefore, these administrators are now going "back to basics" and only giving those academically proficient students higher level Math and Science courses. These administrators have learned a painful lesson and that is "reaching for the stars" is just a dream when there is a failure to launch a successful rocket ship due to the lack of the academic tools to build it, which hurts the students confidence, self-esteem, and ability to move ahead academically.