Friday, February 27, 2009

Teaching Pt. 17

As an addendum to the previous posting, we might need to take some additional issues into account.

Given that students do get ill, it may be necessary to perform a statistical analysis of the number of days that the average student at your particular school experiences an illness throughout the year. The student will be given those number of "sick-days" along with an extra 2 or 3 days. The student can use these "sick-days" anytime during the year, with restrictions put on the number of consecutive sick days (no more than a week). It must be made clear that if the student is not honest about his/her illness he/she will be made to go to school on days when the truly are sick. If the student is truly ill, and has used all their sick days then they must bring a doctors note, and the school will call the doctor directly to verify the authenticity.

Not every student in the school will need the program, this program should be reserved for the chronically truant, those that are truant almost everyday or every week. This program also may not be necessary at every school in every neighborhood. High performing schools may not need such a program, average performing schools may opt to use the program only when necessary and low performing schools may decide they need the program. Also, not every level of education may need this program, elementary and universities obviously don't need the program, but some high schools and middle schools may need the program.

Program Review:
After a couple of months of the program, students will be allowed to opt out of the program based on grades, behavior, and extra curricular activities. If the student begins to show signs of chronic truancy, the program will begin again.

This program will decrease truancy, decrease drop out rates, decrease crime rates, and increase graduation rates. Some schools in some neighborhoods have nearly 2/3 of their student population truant on Mondays and Fridays, this make is difficult for the instructors, other students, and administration since they have to slow the class down when the truant students decide they would like to show up. Not to mention that chronic truancy is highly correlated with drop out rates and future criminal activity.

People might scoff at the "severity" of the program, but consider this:

1 in 100 adults are in prison:

The prison programs are far more severe than anything I have proposed here and yet people find it completely normal. Granted not everyone in prison is in for a violent crime yet, this fact does not explain why they committed the crime in the first place.

Given that education is the key to social mobility and a well paying job-without too much physical effort, it is imperative that we develop ways to ensure students attend and do well in school.


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