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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Holy iPod, Batman!

Attention WASL takers: did you fail the 10th grade WASL reading or math? SPS has an iPod shuffle for you. No kidding, according to this article in today's Times. You have to spend 5 weeks in a WASL summer prep program. This is a joint project with SPS and Seattle Community Colleges but the city is paying for the reading iPods, a donor is paying for the math iPod. (Call 252-0815 by the end of today to register and get one.) Apparently fewer students were signing up for this program (which existed before but not with iPods).

From the article:

"The programs, called Summer College, are designed to help students pass the WASL and to give them the chance to experience college life. One program focuses on math, with one-on-one tutoring available to students who scored very low on the math WASL. The other is for students who failed math or reading on the 10th-grade WASL, and includes classes in literacy, math, and enrichment courses. They are offered at North Seattle and South Seattle community colleges. Lunch and a free Metro bus pass are included."

I don't really know what to think. You could say, "Anything that gets them to study and gives them an opportunity to see college life is a good thing." The other side could say, "You're paying some kids to study but kids who studied and passed get a pat on the head." But this is what it comes to when you make the test the centerpiece of graduation and desperation sets in.

5 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

I think my daughter would go for a lunch, a bus pass and an iPod shuffle. She didn't fail the 10th grade WASL (she's going into the 6th grade), but can she go to the Summer College anyway?

Charlie Mas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roy Smith said...

As long as we have high-stakes testing, we are going to be hearing about absurdities like this.

Jet City mom said...

my daughter received a 1 on the math WASL 4th/7th & 10th grade.

She didn't attend the summer program in 06 because she had scored too low, but she was enrolled in Pathways @ her highschool, spring semester 07, to address her particular gaps.

She retook the math Wasl this spring & if she had scored 10 more points she would have received a 4, but as it is I am very pleased with a 3.

But can she get the ipod anyway?

( you can keep the headphones though, teh are teh suck)

Jet City mom said...

But seriously- it sounds like a great program-- even though I know some parents whose kids still failed to pass the WASL after taking it last summer.

Im wondering if they had revamped it at all.

Not that I am a big group test fan- ask me sometime how I feel about the College Board.

But it feels really good to have my child pass it, so she can get on with her senior year.

While my child works hard and has fairly good internal motivation, I don't think it is harmful ever once in a while to have an external motivator like an ipod-

And Charlie- I think they should have something for younger kids- I think they have something at UW for middle school age kids- but that has a fee-
Wouldn't it be great if they had something for all kids?

( now hear me out)
Not just for kids who needed remedial help, but those like myself, who never got into an elective they wanted, to have the opportunity to take something that was totally my choice- for even a month during the summer, might have given me another perspective and helped me stay engaged enough in school to graduate.

Highly capable kids, are often not recognized/engaged in school and are at risk for dropping out.

Very low income students did have an opportunity to attend a special program at the community college I remember, but as that income cap was very low, not alot of people qualified or even knew about it in my district.

One summer- my daughter who has dyslexia, attended a summer program at Hamlin Robinson.
While I was surprised to learn that the teachers weren't from the school, but were from all over and getting "trained" to teach the program, we could do the same thing.

The adults were there all day- half was spent teaching & half they were being trained in the pedagogy to help the kids.
So instant feedback.