Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Adding a 6th grade to the Boston Exam Schools?

After a very nice night at BLS graduation last night I wake up this morning to this article in the Globe:

This has to be one of the worst ideas I have heard in a long time. Where is the space at BLS for this? Budgets are being cut and teachers laid off. Where is the faculty going to come from? The 7th graders have a hard enough time transitioning to BLS, never mind asking a 6th grader to do it. Many kids at this age are just not developmentally ready for a place like BLS.
This plan also suggests that in order to accommodate the addition of a 6th grade the number of incoming students be reduced. That will not help with space issues for the 5 years it will take to transition the existing larger classes out of the building.
Also, the ISEE is a hard enough test for a 6th grader to take to get into 7th grade with Algebra and vocabulary words like recalcitrant. Now they want a 5th grader to take the test for 6th grade?
I am hoping BPS is really not serious about this. The focus should be on creating more K-6 schools with Advanced Work for grades 4-6 in one school. If you want to send your child to Advanced Work and then an exam school, they may have to attend up to 4 schools in 8 years (K-3) for elementary, 4th and 5th grade for Advanced Work in an elementary school, 6th grade for Advanced Work in a middle school and then finally 7th grade at an exam school. This is just nuts!

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