Summer School Starts Monday -- Who'll Be There?

A few readers (see here) say that schools are being discouraged by their AIOs from sending kids to summer school. 

I have no idea if that's true or not, but thought that this memo from last month to elementary principals about the summer school decisionmaking procedure might be interesting to look at.  Towards the back, it includes directions for principals about how to rate kids, and a draft letter to parents that's apparently supposed to be used to tell them whether their kids are going to summer school (which starts Monday) or not. 

Take a look and let me know what you think.  (BTW, who's Jacqueline Anderson, the writer of the letter?  Never heard of her.)  Memo_28_summer_school_preparation_2006.pdf

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  • Every year PURE gets calls from parents about this policy. The stories are not as gruesome as they were in the early Vallas years when solid honors students were barred from graduation based on one-tenth of a point on the Iowa test. In 1999, PURE filed a discrimination complaint against the policy which led to the addition of other measures.

    However, the policy is still irresponsible. Schools, parents and students ought to know well before the last week of school who needs to go to summer school, and not have to wait until a couple of test scores are plugged into a computer program. It's especially cruel for students not to know until the last moment if they will be allowed to participate in graduation.

    Keep in mind that the Stanford 10 test -- which was embedded in the ISAT this year and used by CPS for this promotion decision -- has only 30 questions, which means that each question is worth roughly 3 percentage points. We received several calls this year from parents whose students met all other criteria but scored at the 22nd percentile in math, probably missing the cut-off by one wrong answer.

    The policy changes every year, as well, so parents can't keep up with the requirements. This creates additional barriers for them to help their children meet the "standards."

    This might all be worth it if retention helped students, but all the research in Chicago says that it tends to harm, not help them.

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