I saw a woman and her kid on the train the other day. I would guess the kid was in second grade. Mom had the kids math workbook. It had addition problems. The mom was working hard to finish all of the problems before they reached their stop. The kid was doing nothing. How can we get the message across to parents that this is a really bad thing to do. I would assume that the mother would rather do the work than get a call from the teacher yelling at her for not making the kid do his homework. (Another unintended consequence of homework). If the teacher uses this homework to evaluate the kid she/he will of course get a false sense of the students abilities.
So, I see that my old school got an F on its report card. This may be the final nail in the coffin. I don't see how a program, such as the one I used to run can possibly recruit students. I have said before that my definition of a good program is one that has a mix of good students and more challenging students. It is a delicate balance. If you fall below a certain number of good students then you are in trouble. You find that there is no leadership. This is very bad.
I feel that the F came because of a lack of leadership in the school. This doesn't mean that all of the teachers are wonderful, but so many of the not good teachers were hired by the current leaders that they must be blamed. Running a school is easy, you hire great teachers, you support them and you leave them alone. My old principal hires teachers out of desperation, and then often hires nice middle class kids who can't teach or she hires someone because they are all that is available that day and she would rather have a body in a classroom then wait for a good teacher.
Resources in my old school went first to security and then to classrooms. Always a bad decision. Supplies were hard to come by, coverages for trips or staff development were discouraged, and most importantly the programming was abysmal. I found the programming one of the most discouraging aspects. Each student is unique. How you program them is critical to their success in school. If you force the student to fit the school and not the school to fit the student you are creating a situation that keeps students from doing their best and therefore gives you an F.
How does she survive?