“No more pobrecitos,” says Susan Mitchell, the new principal of a low-performing, low-expectations school near San Diego. No more poor little things. The San Diego Union-Trib reports on the transformation of Granger Middle School’s culture:
“Our students, if we think of them as poor things, will never make the A to G [college]requirements,” Mitchell said.
Granger, which serves grades seven to nine, hadn’t offered classes that put students — most are Hispanic or Filipino — on the track to college. Now students take algebra and geometry in eighth and ninth grade.
It is mandatory that students getting D’s and F’s stay after school every day for tutoring. Or, if students don’t complete class work, teachers can opt to send them to the study hall to complete their work even if they’re not failing.
Students who are struggling with algebra or geometry get an additional hour of math and small-group tutoring after school, (coordinator Robert) Bleisch said.
“The biggest reason they fail is not because they don’t understand the concept,” he said. “It’s because of lack of support and lack of motivation.”
At home, some kids have parents who can’t help with homework because of language barriers, or they go home to distractions such as blaring music, television or fighting parents, Bleisch said. Those students excel in study hall, where the environment is better for learning.