Monday, February 25, 2013

Are we doing everything we can to make it EASY to earn a diploma?

If not, why not?

I am sitting here listening to the Senate Education Committee debate a measure that would allow pregnant and parenting students a few more days of excused absences.

One day, were struggling to kick students out of school because of their non-attendance, and the next day we struggle to get students who dropped out or were kicked out for non-attendance, to come back to schools, under circumstances requiring less rigid attendance.

As I listen to Senators talk about the need to extract a pound of flesh from truant students, I don't hear them talk ask themselves; is what we are considering, going to increase the number of earned diplomas or reduce them.  If you make it any harder than it already is for pregnant or parenting students to earn a diploma, fewer of them will.  The harder you make it for any student, even truants, to earn a diploma, the fewer of them will.

I think it is a fair question to ask, are we doing everything we can to make it as easy as it can be made, for a student to earn a degree as early and as easily as we can?

Does requiring any student to "keep up" with every other student in every subject everyday, make it easier for students to earn a diploma, or does it make it harder?

There is no purpose served by grouping students for no purpose. Well, maybe one, it allows the creation and manipulation of statistics about how well individual students perform in groups.

"Classmates" have nothing in common but the year of their birth and the neighborhood they live in.  There is no point in grouping in any activity that doesn't require groups by their nature.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
By corollary;
You can make students sit in one of five rows of six desks,
but you can't make them learn.
On the other hand
You can lead a thirsty horse to good water
and expect it will drink, and drink, and drink.
And by corollary;
Offer students the opportunity to learn whatever they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want and they will accrue the skill sets and education they need to qualify for a diploma.  Or they won't earn one.
Any student who does earn an diploma given every advantage, would not have earned a diploma anyway, even if then had been compelled to sit in a desk for twelve years.

There is no such thing as a disengaged learner.
Education is not about teaching, it is about learning.
Engage the learner, the rest follows by natural accord;
in its own direction and at its own speed.

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