Tag Archives: summer school

Still Too Many Colorado High School Graduates Need Help Catching Up

High school and college are still a long ways off for me, but I found this interesting for those of you who are interested in education. A recent report from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (PDF) found that 29.9 percent (that’s almost 3 in 10!) of Colorado public high school graduates entering Colorado public colleges and universities in 2007-08 needed remediation. Wow, that’s a mouthful! And as Ed News Colorado points out, it isn’t good news, either: Remediation costs at least $27.6 million a year, $14.6 million in state tax dollars and $13 million in tuition paid by students, the report said. (The actual cost is higher, because some remediation costs, such as summer school, weren’t included in the total.) “It’s unfortunate,” said Gov. Bill Ritter, that money is spent on remediation “instead of investing those funds in financial aid, classroom instruction and innovative research. We can and must do better.” But has Colorado been doing better than in recent years?


Someone Besides the Federal Government Can Fix the Summer Slide

It’s Friday, it’s hot, and I don’t want to make my Education Policy Center friends work too hard. But before I take a weekend break, here’s a story from the Rocky Mountain News that caught my attention: Summer slides occur in more than just water. During summer months, poor children fall behind academically more than wealthy children do. In fact, two-thirds of the learning gap between rich and poor can be attributed to unequal summer learning activities, research shows. Education activists call this the “summer slide” for students in Denver Public Schools. The story goes on to highlight calls for more federal funding of a special summer school program. I’m still young enough to believe this kind of stuff, but do these grown-ups really think a new government program is the best way to address the problem? What about the idea of year-round school? Or maybe at least summer school programs that aren’t dictated by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.? Okay, that’s enough. If you’ll excuse me now, I think that water slide idea sounds really good.


Bruce Randolph Free to Enforce High Expectations, End Social Promotion

Denver’s Bruce Randolph School, which serves a challenging, high-poverty student population, is really working to change the culture from the ground up. The Rocky Mountain News‘ Nancy Mitchell reports that Bruce Randolph – led by Principal Kristin Waters – is putting a stop to social promotion. The school has signed contracts with the parents to ensure high expectations are kept and that students can avail themselves of needed interventions to help them make it to the next grade: Bruce Randolph’s part of the bargain was to closely monitor student achievement and to step in as soon as teachers saw a child struggling. So they launched tutoring Mondays and Wednesdays after school in the fall. They began Saturday school in October. They launched a week of intense remediation, which came to be known as “F-land,” in December. At the year’s midpoint, letters went home notifying parents if their children were facing retention. Letters went home again three-quarters of the way through the school year. In April, staff started weekly monitoring for failing grades. “All year long, we’ve talked to the parents,” Waters said. “And every time, parents have been supportive.” In May, teachers began calling homes to tell them the bad […]