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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Unprepared to learn — or even to try

Credit: ClipartXtras

Having failed their way through middle school, students are passed on to high school, writes Darren Miller on Right on the Left Coast.  He’s trying to teach Integrated Math to ninth graders who are not prepared to learn math — or even to go through the motions.

In middle school, the bar was “in the vicinity of their ankles,” he writes. In high school, they’re supposed to pass academic classes to earn a diploma.

Yes, they’ll be able to jump through so-called credit recovery hoops if they fall far behind, and maybe they’ll pass and eventually graduate even if they’ve learned nothing.  But at the very minimum we’ll require them to jump through hoops, and perhaps pirouette, before we give them a diploma.

These students “don’t want to write anything down, don’t want to practice, don’t even want to try,” writes Miller.  They can’t subtract 3 from both sides of an equation.

In the comments, a middle-school teacher says his district lets students fail every class every year and still go on to high school.  “Unless there is a parent at home breathing down their neck to turn in their work and behave themselves in class and get good grades, the students look at their three years of middle school as just one big extended party.”

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