Color-coded students

To build a sense of identity and sort out 3,000 students, a Maryland high school produced color-coded ID tags — “black for seniors, white for magnet kids and a particularly loud shade of yellow for students of limited English proficiency,” reports the Washington Post.

Ninth-graders at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring took particular umbrage at being forced to advertise their status with bright red badges and optional matching lanyards.

IDs come in 11 colors to designate enrollment in various classes or “academies” — entrepreneurship, communication arts, international studies, etc. — within the mega-school.

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  1. The fact that they thought it necessary to do something like this is an indicator that the school is way too big.

  2. Andy Freeman says:

    The proponents claim that the colors are intended to “build a sense of identity and security”. I’m pretty sure that the students themselves know what categories they’re in, so the colors don’t help with that. Perhaps someone can explain how knowing a student’s area of study can help with anyone’s security. (Colors for arrest records would do that, but ….)

  3. Indigo Warrior says:

    It’s for the benefit of the teachers and staff, not the students. And I agree, this school is way to big – and could also be split up into 11 or more functionally-tracked smaller schools.

  4. Andy Freeman writes: The proponents claim that the colors are intended to “build a sense of identity and security”.

    It seems to work for gangs — about as well as it did for Constantinople

  5. to photoncourier for getting it spot on.

  6. Andy Freeman says:

    Why do teachers need to know what track a random student is in? (They should know the track of students in their classes, but that doesn’t require tags.) Who gets different treatment, how is it different, and why?