Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Credit Recovery Classes...Give me a Break!

As if our public schools in Nashville need more tools to help kids graduate who can't read or write...

Nashville Public Schools have a program called "credit recovery". If students fail a core class they can retake it if they stay 2 1/2 hours after school two days a week. So they can retake two classes by staying after 4 days a week. This is paid for by taxpayers...hourly wages for teachers, extra bus transportation, and snacks. Amy Frank, a teacher in a public high school here, wrote an op-ed column today about her misgivings about this program, and I agree. There isn't enough time in a regular class to cover the standards for a class, let alone the much smaller amount of time they have in the afternoon. Sometimes students are promised a passing grade just for showing up!

Students who don't do well in a class will often decide early on that they will retake it in credit recovery because it's easier, thus stop trying during the regular class. This leads to disruptions in class and poor participation. In sixth grade at my daughter's private school, the kids were allowed to "make up" half of the points missed on a test or project by correcting the papers, but by 7th grade, that option was taken away. Kids need to learn accountability, responsibility, and for Pete's sake, if they don't know the material they shouldn't be allowed to pass!