We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
I agree there needs to be another path for students who don't fit in. I am the principal at a short-term behavior modification school and many of our students give up, regardless of the accomodations they receive through their IEPS.
A huge problem that I didn't see mentioned is the lack of support from the parents/guardians. These kids need someone helping them make better decisions and encouraging them to finish the program. Getting the families involved is very difficult, as many times there are other factors stemming from the home front that play a key role in whether the student finishes school. To top it all off, money is getting tighter and schools are having to make hard decisions in terms of what they offer as an intervention. Nonpublics don't typically have the income base to keep up with all the mandates, and too many end up closing.
I rather students have a second chance, then to see them on the streets years later with no education and no job! It may cost taxpayers money but we pay either way, I rather invest now knowing I have helped an individual get an education instead of paying to place them in jail.
I am a former director of a small,alternative high school that was discontinued due to budgetary problems. When I first started in the position I created a survey to find out how the students viewed the program. One of the questions was, "What do you most like about this school?" To my initial surprise (later it made perfect sense) the great majority of the students replied that they liked it because they didn't have to go into the halls to pass from class to class.
These are the students that don't fit. These are the students that need structure. These are the students that need the security and safety of a program where they can learn at their own rate, without being chastised for not "keeping up".
These are the students that will continue to fail in the traditional high school because the traditional high school is not designed for them. We "educators" don't get it because we were the ones who did succeed in the traditional high school. Its not a matter of giving them a "second chance". Its a matter of giving them a fighting chance.
If students are not allowed to make mistakes and learn from them at school, where will they be able to do so? In this case, as in many others, Bill Gates is wrong. Life is not about stealing others ideas and profiting from them. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. Society benefits when everybody reaches their total potential.
traditional schools destroy our minds
dropout prevention will only create more suffereing
Traditional schools suffer from an overdose of 'tradition.'
Alternatives serve the third of all students doomed to fail in a traditional academic environment, students that exhibit the same behaviors as Einstein, Newton, Faraday, Franklin, and others.
Traditional schools develop traditional thinkers.
i feel that by continuously letting teens get second chances in school, it is setting a bad example of how the real life actually works. It was Bill Gates who said "Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life." This bears a lot of truth that far too many students are not being taught
As a mother of a student who benefits from an alternative placement (Ombudsman), I have seen first hand the benefits that this kind of opportunity can produce: improved self-esteem, learning empowerment, and responsibility acceptance, as she is required to hold a job to participate in it. The traditional high school setting is not for everyone. Proactively offering effective alternative high school placements, before the students become a problem, and with the clear notion that the placement should not merely become a dumping ground for problematic students, ultimately benefits not only the students in them, but also those who stay in the traditional setting by freeing up time, and teaching resources.
There are many reasons students drop out and if possible to prevent a student from dropping out we should seek those solutions. Alternative avenues need to be available for those that do find the need to drop out and Judson ISD has one that we call the Judson Learning Academy. It is located in a shopping mall and is computer based students recieve a high school credit not a GED. The only drawback we have seen is that some students dropout, wait for the six month period, then enroll in the academy. They graduate sooner than they would have if they had stayed in school. They then go to a 2 year college before transfering into a 4 year college after a year. If we had programs that appealed to students the same way in the first place a number of students would have never dropped out.
We need a number of alternative paths to high school graduation. This is one that I believe offers promise. Schools should operate year round and have many different pathways for individual learners to progress including virtual classes and independent study. We urgently need to create new ways to credential learners and credit them with a wide range of learning experiences. With each learner being given an Individual Learners Plan and proper management children can be tracked through a wide range of experiences from traditional classrooms, tutoring, virtual classes to project based experiences.
WE NEED MAJOR CHANGES IN SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION.