Honors for All at Garfield: How's It Going?

The only thing I have seen here at the blog is that at least one teacher requires a reading log.  I guess that could be useful except that 1) did the kid actually do the reading or is trying to impress the teacher and 2) is the teacher truly reviewing what each student is reading and issuing guidance? 

So if you have a child in the class, let us know how it's going on in-class work, homework, classroom structure/behavior, etc. 

If you don't have a child in the class, please do not weigh in.  We're are discussing how it is playing out and only the teachers and the students know for sure.


Anonymous said…
It would also be helpful to hear about the syllabus and expectations (e.g., papers, grading)--both for current versions of the class, as well as for last year's LA and SS honors classes. If there's a way to post those introductory materials for different teachers and different years, that would be great for seeing to what extent the level of rigor has been maintained as promised.

Compare Contrast
Anonymous said…

Sounds like you're trying to stir up trouble.

cough drop
Anonymous said…
Do you subject all schools and classes to this type of public scrutiny? Nah, I didn't think so. - CapHill Parent
Anonymous said…
I've heard LA class time use (content and pace) broadly lamented by our app 9th grader & friends coming from north app middle.

As a parent, I'm pretty ok with a change in pacing in LA/SS for my 9th grade kid, given the content I've seen (missed parent open house) that says goal is 'preparing all students for advanced classes in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade', which I read to mean that my app kid will be ready for LA AP.

It's early for us but Garfield seems like such a great place to be --it's diversity truly is its strength-- and the perfect place to be giving new approaches a committed effort with time to bake the adjustments. LA/SS is the right place to start. Math/Science would definitely lead to parent hunger strikes.

ne app parent 27b/6
Charlie Mas said…
@CapHill Parent, Yes. New schools and classes are subject to this type of public scrutiny. Especially when they invite it. You may not think so, but then you would be wrong.

This blog has long advocated for the District to fulfill Board Policy 2090 and conduct evaluations of all academic programs. As you are undoubtedly aware, the District does not evaluate the quality or efficacy of any of their academic programs. Therefore the work of program evaluation falls to the community.

This blog is the frequent home to discussions of the quality and efficacy of academic programs throughout the District. In particular, new programs, when introduced, are the topic of discussion as are existing programs subject to significant change. The thread is often started with little more than the post at the start here: "How's that new program/class/school/method working out?"

So instead of jumping to a conclusion based on nothing but your prejudiced presumptions, how about you do a little research before you answer your own question.
One,classroom management is part of any discussion of how a class is doing. Two, this is a major shift (and not just at Garfield) of HCC so yes, it is of interest to discuss.

And again, I asked for students and teachers to comment. Any other off-topic comments will be deleted.

Lastly, I was asked to put this up and I did so upon that request.
Anonymous said…
I like the new class structure. It feels like the school cares about all the kids doing well, not just the more motivated or the ones who were made to take honors by their parents. The HCC kids from the north are cooler than we thought they would be about it and seem interested in hearing some of the stories the more street kids can tell. So far no fights or anything like that. Just school but more interesting.

Lynn said…
For context, are you a student, parent or teacher?
Anonymous said…
It's pretty chill, according to my HCC 9th grader. He observed that some students will probably struggle, and he will probably do more of the work in the group assignments, but this happened to him in middle school HCC too. I don't think the kids really care about being in an "honors" class, they just want a good teacher who engages them. I think this will be up to the teachers to make work

-Going with it.
Cap hill said…
My kid is in the classes. As a positive the teachers are using schoology.

It seems to me (and her) that the class is being taught "from the middle" meaning that it is not as challenging as 8th grade SS at Washington with Schmitz as a comparison point. My assumption (and it doesn't say this anywhere) is:

1. It counts as honors credit (eg the .5 extra) for all students
2. The assignments, work and grading model are the same for all kids

So it kind of feels like a one size fits all. Which brings up the question of the state and district requirements around acceleration opportunity. Unless of course the course itself is considered the acceleration opportunity. And since there is no district wide curriculum for 9th LA/SS or standards for what acceleration look like, it would be impossible to establish whether that is true or not.

Also - the school has not reschedule the 9th grade parent orientation (with the 20 interpreters). I can pretty much guarantee that will never happen. There is also no update on the notion that "Teachers will collaborate to develop assessments that measure student growth over time. They will use data from these assessments to guide their decision making". Or "Teachers will be participating in quarterly check-ins with the PTSA and communicate other changes via the GHS web site."

(Editorial comment) One of the most frustrating things about Garfield (and really SPS) is that total lack of accountability and frankly the empty promises. Much of the reaction to honors for all isn't that the idea itself is that radical or wrong - but that Garfield has a pretty poor track record for execution and communication.
Anonymous said…
I did wonder why Principal Howard's event last week was only in English but 9th grade orientation was cancelled for lack of interpreters...

My kid reports that class size is very small in LA and SS, maybe 25 kids? Smaller classes alone are a marked improvement over middle school. If the school had held the 9th grade orientation, we'd know if this was intentional or simply (good!) luck of the draw. The behavior issues I hear most about are in math and science, and circus arts (aka health)... So far, so good.

L&E mom

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