Monday, September 10, 2018

Academic Apartheid

Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron should be read as a warning, not as a how-to manual:
A math education professor is arguing that gifted math classes cause “academic apartheid” among students, claiming that the practice is rooted in “capitalist exploitations and settler colonialism.”  link
We've come full circle in 17 years, from No Child Left Behind to No Child Gets Ahead.


lgm said...

His premise is wrong. Students aren't being separated by ability, they are being separated by achievement aka instructional need. Not that it matters, he is making a Union pitch for full employment...he'll put everyone of the same age in the same class, then hire aides for those who 'need help', and then add a second period(with teacher and aides) for supervised study hall then a third period for support (1:1 with certified teacher) and then a period for tutoring (small group with a certified teacher). See how its done? Had it here for 15 years...district ranks in the 5%ile nationally now and the students that aren't privately tutored still don't understand fractions, much less watered down algebra topics despite the leading of the horse thru the water. However, the parking lot has been expanded to hold all the SUVs used by the add'l teachers.

It would be a lot simpler to admit that students are making the choice not to take math beyond algebra because they don't have to -- they can get a good paying job and a diploma without it working that hard and they know it.

Ellen K said...

This wrong headed idea is being pushed at our school for next year. As if it's not disruptive enough to have students who cannot read, cannot write and cannot talk running around the classroom, now they will be in AP and GT classrooms as well. Thank God I am retiring. Maybe I can get a job at a good private school and send my grandsons there.