Thursday, August 21, 2008

Carrick Engineering Magnet

On another post Newbie wrote "I know I am looking several years ahead and won't have a high school student to worry about soon. I watched the school board meeting and feel confused. There was discussion of a program being at Carrick and turning into a magnet in 2009. Apparently Allderdice has an engineering magnet already. Why are some board members worried about kids not wanting to travel to Carrick and talking about magnets needing to be centrally located yet the engineering magnet could hardly be called centrally located? I know many people who love the magnet programs. Location is a bigger issue in high school than in elementary or middle, right? I probably won't watch another meeting. I will read the blog. So thanks. "

We will have to watch the broadcast, but do you mean that the Allderdice engineering magnet could hardly be called centrally located, or the proposed Carrick magnet is not central? Another question is- if the district is moving to theme based schools- why is Carrick remaining a comprehensive school with a magnet?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

PSSA- Student not trying

On another post Wits-End wrote "What is the true scoop on PSSA results? A blogger on another blog asked what a 223.9% improvement meant? The first PSCC meeting should be an eyeopener when class and building results are talked about. The test is useless for many kids and does not reflect their abilities. I know kids who just fill in circles to get it over with and then they have MONTHS to wait to get caught. Hopefully the parents and teachers realize what the kid did in March or April and that they have coasted without guilt til the results hit the mailbox. I know. It is a character flaw. Maybe the polling method of "plus or minus" should be applied to the results. Anyway, I, errr, I mean the MOTHER has tried to take everything away from the child except his clothing, and it did not work. This kid just won't take the test seriously. His grades are not at all bad on his report card. Any advice would be welcome."

Is the child in high school, or in a lower grade? High school students already have so many tests that count for more- PSAT's, SAT's, subject matter SAT's, AP's, IB's, tests for class- that they may understandably focus on those tests. If a lower grade student- is the PSSA the only standardized test? Maybe an incentive (rather than a disincentive) would help, or an explanation that this practice is important to prepare for future tests that do really count for something.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Extra elementary school reading at the expense of other subjects

Anonymous wrote in another post "Starting this year all elementary schools are required to have a minimun of three periods of reading (up from 2 periods last year). This is at the expense of science music, gym, social studies and art. Although some students need this extra time spent on reading, many are being denied the benefits of a basic liberal arts education. A better approach would be to provide tutoring for the students that need extra instruction."

Are there other parents with thoughts on this issue?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SHS/ Reform

Anonymous wrote in another post, "I am a parent of a soon to be 10th grader at SHS. What reform is set to follow for us?"

By SHS, do you mean "Schenley at Reizenstein"? If so, I believe that for current 10 - 12th grades not much reform is planned-the idea seems to be to wait for Schenley to "fade out." However, I did hear something about IS students being required to change to IB- I'm not sure if that is all students, but if so the IS/IB program would be "re-formed" to an entirely IB program.