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Tuesday 10 January 2006

Achtung, Babies!

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Lancaster [Texas] schools Superintendent Larry Lewis said students should have opened more than presents during their holiday break.

He wanted them to open their books during the three-week break because he feared that some would forget things they had learned.

Between 750 and 1,000 students had not completed assigned holiday homework upon returning to school Monday, and hundreds of them were suspended. There are about 5,770 students in the Lancaster school district.

ATTENTION EMPLOYERS AND COLLEGE ADMISSIONS OFFICERS: Be sure not to hire or admit any products of the Lancaster, TX school system more than three weeks after graduation. The head of the school system himself does not believe that anything they teach those kids will stick any longer than that.

I’ll give them credit for at least having ‘zero tolerance’ for, you know, poor academic performance, rather than random and pointless ordnung. But I have to question not just their logic but their sanity on two points:

First: If your students are really forgetting things they’ve learned after three weeks, does it even occur to you that maybe your education is not all that effective?

Second: Does it really make sense that the punishment for not doing schoolwork should be not being allowed to come to school? Is that going to be an effective punishment? Or is it more likely to make the problem — or at least the problem as the school people see it — even worse?

If they forget what they’ve learned in three weeks, how much more are they going to forget while they’re suspended?

Posted by tino at 11:07 10.01.06
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