Block scheduling is being used as a quick fix for the graduation rate at some “dropout factories,” writes Rob Manwaring on The Quick and the Ed. These schools are shuffling instructional minutes to let students take eight classes a year, instead of six. That means a student can fail more classes and still earn enough credits to graduate.
By offering more courses per year, there is a higher chance that a student will be able to pass 6 of the 8 courses and be on track to graduation. There is a catch of course. Each class has less hours of instruction to cover the same amount of material.
Students can use the extra classes to take fluffy electives.
Manwaring visited a school that had improved its graduation rate through block scheduling, but students’ proficiency scores were very poor: Only 13 percent of tenth graders were proficient in English; none were proficient in geometry, the math class most took, and 1 percent in basic algebra, 3 percent in advanced algebra.
Is this really a trend?