We need to give students hope

By From page A6 | July 18, 2014

It was serendipity: An article on the Davis school district’s summer school that serves “some” credit recovery students (July 13). An article about the Common Core math curriculum. News that yet another neighbor’s bright teen bit off more than he could chew taking AP courses, fell behind, imploded, is now on the fast track to community college and not MIT (the previous trajectory), and is home this summer, depressed and discouraged.

Remediating a high school course requires a student to take the “exact same class.” 99.9 percent of Davis High School’s sophomore through senior courses are not offered in summer school. The Davis school district’s upper-class, A-G, honors and AP courses have to be taken over the following year to be remediated.

This means a student who was not successful taking one English or social studies course — with all of its associated reading and writing — gets to take two at the same time! It also means there is no realistic chance for a junior to fix her F in AP American history before applying for college the following fall, or for a senior to fix her F in physics (AP, A-G, honors) before having her admission revoked.

The Davis school district is transitioning to the Common Core curriculum. Hence, right now is a great time for the district to purchase and implement curriculum with an online counterpart. Like Lowell High School, a school venerated in AIM committee meetings, the Davis district could purchase Edgenuity’s Common Core mathematics curriculum. If courses could be retaken and remediated online, our students who mess up have a chance to fix errors in a reasonable timeframe in accordance with concrete, manageable, supported steps. They would have a chance to get back on track.

More importantly, if DHS offered developmentally appropriate second chances, the non-academic curriculum this village is teaching a number of our children would include hope. Providing a summer school alternative would demonstrate to our children that we are proud of them for challenging themselves, we know it’s hard, we care whether or not they succeed, we won’t abandon them if they try and fail and we’ll support them when they get up and try again.

Carin Loy


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