Early vacation for test passers

In Mesquite, Texas, high school students who pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills will be able to start summer vacation five days early. Those who fail will stay behind for a week of intensive instruction.  If they don’t catch up, they’ll have to attend summer school.

Via Education Gadfly.

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Comments

  1. anonymous says:

    Same at my school, only ours get to start summer 9 days early.

  2. Michael E. Lopez says:

    A *week* of intensive instruction?

    Failure on these tests is the result of failure stretched out over years.

    A week isn’t going to do jack $#!t, and everyone in that school district knows it.

  3. Physics Teacher says:

    A *week* of intensive instruction?

    Failure on these tests is the result of failure stretched out over years.

    A week isn’t going to do jack $#!t, and everyone in that school district knows it.

    You’re missing the point. It’s not about instruction, but motivation. These kids have been immersed in instruction for years. What they’ve lacked all these years is motivation. Only those who have a genuine desire to learn make the effort and the rest choose to take up space. The “failing” students know that no matter how little they know their teachers will strive to make the little darlings “succeed” no matter what. If everybody is to “succeed”, why bother to bust one’s butt when one can just goof off?

    I suspect that this ploy will actually work rather well. The “failing” students will suddenly experience sudden enlightenment and very few will actually be spending that extra week in school. It’ll be a miracle. Someone will have to call the pope.

    When I was a kid they actually failed people and there was a stigma attached to failing. Yet I remember very few people failing because no one wanted to be the dunce.

  4. Robert Wright says:

    Years ago when I ran my own program, I had daily objectives for each student. As soon as a student mastered what I wanted them to learn, they could go home. Sometimes it was noon. Sometimes it wasn’t until 7 pm.

    Yes, I disliked staying at school until 7pm, but it didn’t happen that often. Once a student knew I wasn’t bluffing, I didn’t have to prove it twice.

    This is the concept of of the indeterminate sentence that California used to have for prison inmates.

    Do you know what I liked about it? It worked.

    But now I teach in the regular public school system and it really doesn’t make any difference if a child learns or not. I get paid the same and the student leaves every day at the same time.

  5. Kevin Smith says:

    Ours get 9 days (in NC). But it gets even better, since the EOC tests are the final exam in their classes the only ones who have to get remediated are the ones who passed the class and not the exam. If you do bad ENOUGH on the test that it causes you to fail, you start your vacation a week and a half earlier. How’s that for motivating a struggling student…..?

  6. I think it’s a great idea. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And in the high schools I’ve taught at that let kids out of school for the Summer early by passing their state-mandated exit exams, it really was an excellent motivator.

    Just an extra week off to a high schooler would be like an adult getting a month off work! 😛

  7. I believe in TX no one is supposed to distinguish anyone–positively or negatively–from his or her TAKS scores. (In our school, teachers aren’t even supposed to tell the kids their scores. However, those students who don’t pass receive and sign for a workbook without explanation in front of everyone.) I’m thinking Mesquite’s idea will last a year.