The joke known as “summer school”

 Let me just enjoy this moment in venting about the uselessness of summer school and how much of a complete joke it is.

First off. Why do we lower the bar for our students in such a way that they only come to summer school if they LITERALLY receive all F’s, but one D will gladly make them pass to the next grade.

Also, you can attend summer school even if you failed 3 out of 4 of your core subjects.

To me, as a teacher and a summer school (glorified) babysitter, it seems like the education system is saying to these kids, “Oh, you slept through the entire school year and failed miserably, please come enjoy summer school to make up your credits (for math, science, English or social studies). Then, go on to 9th grade and stop being our problem.”

As if we don’t lower the bar enough, then we allow students to do a credit recovery program for summer school. This program is on the computer and suppose to catch kids up on the standards they were meant to learn during the year.

Here is how the program works. Kids have multiple modules for each subject they are needing to take. Each module has anywhere from 2-5 mini lessons.

Kids start off each lesson by taking a pretest. If students manage to get an 80% or higher on the pretest, they no longer have to complete the lesson and move on to the next. Perfect. If kids do poorly on the pretest they have to work their way through the lesson, which has mini quizzes along the way. These quizzes don’t really count, so most just guess their way through it.

Finally, after each lesson there is a post test. Students CANNOT move on to the next lesson without passing the post test. You need a 70% to pass and are allowed two computer attempts. And because all the children in summer school are so fantastic, they all try their hardest to pass the posttest…HA! Instead, when they bomb twice, the fun begins for me.

Being an English teacher and hating the laziness of the students, I make the students go back and take notes on the lesson they failed (twice) and then print them a copy of the test. This way I am able to see what they are missing and help them out.

The program itself is not too bad, other than you get some children flying through and finish in two days. Which, to be honest, is a bit of a slap in the face to your teachers.

We spend all year preparing lessons, grading papers, and teaching the students in a way that makes sure they are ready to succeed in next grade…and then they fail, causing them to go to summer school which is so easy that it is not even seen as  a punishment.

Don’t get me wrong, I am glad we have a program like this to help out the kids who are just not getting it and need the extra help before going off to the next grade.

However, for those students who are lazy, unmotivated, and disrespectful throughout the entire school year and then come to summer school, sleep and (attempt) to play on their phones and they get to still pass…

Seems legit, right?

One thought on “The joke known as “summer school”

  1. I LOVE your blog. As a career educator, I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. Good for you telling it like it is. I’m hanging on to every word…..

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