Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Florida Charter School Plans to Kick Out Low Performers

The principal at a Florida charter school called “Inlet Grove” just announced that the lowest scoring students on the state reading test will be asked to leave the school unless their parents attend Saturday school with them. These sessions are three hours each and happen twice a month. The Palm Beach Post reports that the principal -Emma Banks- said that if parents do not show, their students will be asked to leave the school. These students scored the lowest level (1) on the state test. If the students jump to the highest level (5) Banks promises to give them $1,000 scholarships “if” they graduate. She also promises to drive parents to the sessions and provide child sitting services.

What a unique way to get rid of your lowest students, boost your school grade and graduation rates! Actually this is not unique and it happens all the time. These poor students end up dropped in the lap of the local regular public school.  A lot of these students are ELL, or minority. I am all for parent involvement but- really?

The stated goal of the Saturday school is to help kids “pass the test.” Instead of getting kids to be book-loving citizens they are being turned into Pavlovian dogs at $1,000 a head. Reading is being turned into a task. What are we doing to our kids?

This school recently had Geoffrey Canada come speak and for $150 you could listen to him speak.  It was a fundraiser for the school.

I have a challenge for Emma Banks. Pay me to come to your school and work with your lowest students all day. We will not need test prep. We will read books and discuss them. The kids can read anything they want.  We will create book-loving citizens. Oh, and most will pass your test too.

I tried to link the article but it is for subscribers only.


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