Monday, January 16, 2006

The result of just moving students on to the next grade

It was an interesting contrast this morning. I just got through writing a post about Joanne Jacobs' experience at Downtown College Prep, often called DCP. DCP is a charter school in San Jose, California. Part of DCP's approach is to tell the students exactly how they are performing, and then to tell the students they can do better. They are honest with the students.

Unfortunately too many students graduate from high school barely being able to read, and not really having an education. The school system lied to the students, telling them "You are doing great."

After writing my post, I read a post by the Headmistress in The Common Room. She writes about an average application her husband had gotten recently. The spelling was horrible. This poor high school graduate was unable to correctly fill out a basic application. Read the whole post, it is scary.

Too often some people think that it is a kindness to lie to students, because they don’t want to hurt the student’s feelings. They want the student to have good self esteem. Maybe in the short term the student feels better, but it is horribly destructive in the long run. This person who filled out the application will be suffering for the rest of his life, barely able to get jobs that provide. It would have been much better if someone had been honest with him in school and said this is wrong, you need to do it over again. Maybe his feelings would have been hurt then, but he would have had a much better life.

By homeschooling our children we can be honest with them. We can tell them when they make mistakes, but then we'll tell them they can do better.


Spunky said...

And we can also own up to our own mistakes. That is the best thing about homeschooling for me. My children see me as I am and love me still. And the same is true for me. There is liberty to learn freely in that type of an environment.

Henry Cate said...

Good point. By homeschooling we can have a more authenticate relationship with our children.

Shayla Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shayla Jones said...

I live in San Jose, CA as well and the school system out here is just beneath anything I have seen in Illinois. My son finishes even the homeschooling work so fast that I have to try my best to keep up with him. These schools are failing our children with their dishonest "good job's" and pat's on the back. I think it is high time for them to start truly teaching our chilren and making sure that the will be postively affected in the future by what they have learned. Blogger: Three Girls Against Domestic Violence. Shayla Jones