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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:17 AM

The Silent Treatment: A Day in the Life of a Student in ‘No Excuses’ Land

Meet Carolina. This college-bound fifth grader is fortunate enough to attend a charter school where expectations are high and innovation and excellence abound. There’s just one wee catch. In order to realize her goal of opportunity and the promise of independence, Carolina must spend the next SEVEN YEARS in near silence. Sweet Carolina is not a novice in a convent or an inmate in a children’s prison but a resident of a horrifying place called “no excuses” land that, while often lauded by education rephormers, is rarely seen from within.

You see, Carolina is a would-be student at a proposed new school, Argosy Collegiate Charter School, in Fall River, Massachusetts. As part of its application to the state Board of Education, Argosy included a detailed hour-by-hour look at what Carolina’s typical school day is like (note: Day in the Life begins on page 144 of the application). The following is an excerpt from Carolina’s day.

7:10 am – Carolina, an Argosy Collegiate fifth grader is ready to board the school bus on the corner of South Main Street and Mt. Hope Avenue. Just like every morning, Carolina’s mother, Mrs. Medeiros, an Argosy Collegiate Volunteer, supervises her daughter and the other four students who board the bus at this stop. Mrs. Medeiros asks each student if they are ready to learn today. Students respond with an enthusiastic, “Yes, I’m ready to learn today. I can’t wait to learn something new!” “Excellent,” responds Mrs. Medeiros. Once the school bus arrives, Carolina and her peers board the bus one at a time and in silence, other than a greeting for Ms. Oliveira, the bus driver, who responds with, “Good morning, Carolina. Are you Determined to learn today?” Carolina responds, “Yes, Ms. Oliveira, I am Determined to learn today!”

7:27 am – Carolina arrives to Argosy Collegiate on time, and waits for the bus to come to a complete stop before gathering her belongings. She and the other students on the bus look for Mr. Silvia, one of her math teachers, who boards the South Main St./Mt. Hope Avenue bus every day as part of his morning duties. Mr. Silvia makes eye contact with Carolina and Dante, and signals them non-verbally to stand and walk off the bus. Mr. Silvia continues this procedure, row by row, and the students maintain their silence except for a quick “Thank you, Ms. Oliveira” from Carolina and each of the scholars until all 28 scholars have vacated the bus.

more

http://edushyster.com/?p=1425

What a horrible childhood

9 replies, 1328 views

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Reply The Silent Treatment: A Day in the Life of a Student in ‘No Excuses’ Land (Original post)
n2doc Dec 2012 OP
Mass Dec 2012 #1
n2doc Dec 2012 #3
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #2
LWolf Dec 2012 #4
savebigbird Dec 2012 #7
LWolf Dec 2012 #8
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #9
NeedleCast Dec 2012 #5
AnneD Dec 2012 #6

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:36 AM

1. "This college-bound fifth grader"

A college-bound 5th grader? All kids in 5th grade should aim to go to college.

The rest is crazy too, and frankly not somewhere I would have put my kids, but the notion that you would predetermine kids' future that early made me yell. What's next, KG college-bound kids?

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Response to Mass (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:46 AM

3. Oh I am sure she will have no choice

Once she arrives at the college, and doesn't have someone constantly directing her every breath, we shall then see what happens. But up until then, it doesn't look like she has any choice.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:43 AM

2. In the comments section of the article

someone quoted a passage from Dickens' Hard Times, which was so apt.:

” ‘NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!’

The scene was a plain, bare, monotonous vault of a school-room, and the speaker’s square forefinger emphasized his observations by underscoring every sentence with a line on the schoolmaster’s sleeve. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s square wall of a forehead, which had his eyebrows for its base, while his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s mouth, which was wide, thin, and hard set. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s hair, which bristled on the skirts of his bald head, a plantation of firs to keep the wind from its shining surface, all covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie, as if the head had scarcely warehouse-room for the hard facts stored inside. The speaker’s obstinate carriage, square coat, square legs, square shoulders, – nay, his very neckcloth, trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact, as it was, – all helped the emphasis.

‘In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir; nothing but Facts!’

The speaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.” – Hard Times, Charles Dickens

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:47 AM

4. What do they do

with kids who forget to be silent?

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Response to LWolf (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:38 AM

7. I would have survived in a place like this for exactly.....hmmm....30 seconds.

It would have been TORTURE for me!

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Response to savebigbird (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:13 AM

8. I've got students

who might not make it that long.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 03:13 PM

9. i think kipp calls in police

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:02 AM

5. Sounds Like Army Basic Training (Boot Camp)

How horrible for a young kid.

That description could literally have been torn from the first two weeks of boot camp when you are still really "locked down." Into and out of the chow hall in single file, silent lines. Eating in silence. Choreographed movements and scripted responses to repeated questions. Ugh. For basic training, I get the necessity of it. For an eight or nine year old kid, I think it borders on child abuse.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:56 PM

6. Excuse me.....



That is not a school but a re-education camp. Why don't we just skip procreation, build robots, and send them to school. That school sounds like a crime against humanity.

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