The dumbing down of America continues.

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The dumbing down of America continues.

Post  fshnski on Wed May 29, 2013 11:27 am

MANCHESTER — District officials will be taking a closer look at the implementation of a minimum enrollment policy for classes, following an outcry from Memorial High School students.

The group of students spoke out during the public comment period at the beginning of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee meeting Tuesday.

The students said they were recently informed by school leaders that Advanced Placement courses they intended to take next fall would not be available due to low enrollment. Earlier this year, the Board of School Committee approved a policy that established a 30-student maximum in courses and 15-student minimum, which was aimed at eliminating high school courses that benefited only a handful of students.

At the same time, the policy allowed principals to seek waivers from the policy to retain certain courses.

"By striving to make sure the bottom meet graduation requirements, we may fulfill what the state and federal government want, but we forget about the top, the high achieving students," Anthony Nguyen, a senior at Memorial, told the committee.

Members of the committee and district officials said that it appeared that the policy was being misapplied. It was not clear on Tuesday what school leaders at Memorial or the other high schools have told students concerning the availability of advanced courses.

"I feel for those students. I can tell you now, you will not be losing your opportunities," Superintendent Thomas Brennan said to the Memorial students. "One way or another, we'll find a solution. The policy was written with you in mind."

Assistant Superintendent Michael Tursi said, "The policy is not being read past the maximum and minimum. We wrote in to the policy that an exception can be granted by request."

The enrollment policy was approved by the board in February after considerable debate.

Ward 10 board member John Avard had successfully pushed to have language added to the policy stating, "specific course extensions may be granted by the superintendent or his/her designee."

"I have been vocal on this topic from the beginning," he said. "If we see at Memorial, where there are 2,300 students, they have trouble fielding enough students for an A.P. class, think about West, where there 1,300 students. I don't want to see any students shortchanged."

Members of the committee were unanimous on one point, in thanking the Memorial students for speaking out.

"I want to applaud the young people who came here tonight," Ward 9 board member Art Beaudry said.

Brennan said he would be meeting with the Memorial students and school leaders about the issue, and would report back to the board.

In other action Tuesday, the Curriculum and Instruction Committee unanimously approved a policy that would allow a student to earn the earn the one credit requirement for physical education by playing four seasons on a school sports team. Currently, student-athletes who play two seasons of sports can get a half-credit toward the one-credit P.E. requirement.

The policy now goes to the full school board.

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Re: The dumbing down of America continues.

Post  WHL on Wed May 29, 2013 12:32 pm

Well, I don't think that they should teach a class to 5 or 6 students. However, I do think that above average kids have been ignored for a long time.
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