Less Homework is More!!!

Posted on 27. May, 2011 by in Blog

Wednesday night, my 4th grade year…..

Like every night, 20 – 30 minutes of math homework.  Sometimes, there would be social studies or science.  However, Wednesday night was the toughest assignment of the week!  Take the 10-15 spelling words and turn them into a story.  There were times when it was really tough, especially when the words didn’t have any relationship at all.

Homework.  Homework!  No one likes homework.  And now it’s becoming policy.

According to a Reuters story on Yahoo, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110527/us_nm/us_education_homework, “public schools in Galloway Township, New Jersey, this week proposed no more homework on weekends and holidays for their 3,500 students, and the Pleasanton Unified School District in northern California suggested drastic changes to homework policy for the 14,500-student district.”

In many school districts, instead of eliminating it, they have just reduce the weight of homework as a percentage of the course average, even to 10% or less.

The truth is, homework just isn’t that effective.  Students that naturally do the homework are compliant and not necessarily in need of the extra practice.  Students that might benefit from homework, do it less and less as they progress through the educational system.  Under the old system, students could have passing grades on tests and still fail the class because of poor homework scores.

Many times, teachers wouldn’t grade homework or just score it based on completion.  Neither practice improves learning.  It does measure compliance.

And there is the rub.  Minus 10, incorrect heading.  Minus 10, sloppiness.  Minus 5 for using the wrong paper, color ink or not indenting.  How much of that has to do with the learning?  Nothing.  Yet our hypothetical student’s grade is already at a 75 before “assessment of learning” even begins.

And what is a 75 anyway.  75 percent of what?  In this instance, it’s not about mastery.  It’s about following the rules.  And in too many cases, that’s what a grade reflects: the ability of the student to follow the rules of the teacher.  Mix a power crazed teacher with a defiant student and what do you get????  Yet another drop out.

Students today are more sophisticated… or maybe just less compliant.  In the attempt to teach critical thinking, students are starting to get it and ask, “Why am i doing this?  Why is this important?  Will I use this in my life?”  And all too often the answer returns, “You will need this in college” or “To get a good job.”

Sadly, as budget shortfalls in education are sweeping the country, teachers are learning a tough lesson that following the teacher’s rules has very little to do with financial success.

If you know of a student that has dropped out or can’t pass the state test, like TAKS, and is in need of a diploma, send them to https://resoluteacademy.com.

And follow us on Twitter @resoluteacademy.

What would happen if supermarkets were like public schools?

Posted on 05. May, 2011 by in Blog

This morning, Donald J. Boudreaux, a professor of economics at George Mason University, posted a blog posing the hypothetical comparison of education and government run grocery stores, in the Wall Street Journal.  Here is the link:


The piece is brilliant and the logic is good.  What if you could only shop in the grocery store that someone else told you to shop in?  What if they didn’t have the selection you desired?  What if you had a gluten allergy, yet this store didn’t carry any gluten free products?  Many parents find themselves dealing with just such situations, struggling with schools that are understaffed or unprepared to deal with issues such as autism and learning disabilities.  The problem is compounded by state mandated curriculum and testing.  The system is rigid, institutional and blind to chronic problems such as boring, irrelevant curriculum and student apathy.

So, your “assigned” grocery store doesn’t carry the types of food you need and desire, and you can’t go to another store, what do you do?  You grow your own.  It’s healthier, more fresh and it’s what you want.  That’s what home school parents do.  How does society and the institutions of education view that?  Instead of being lauded for taking intiative and responsibility for “growing their own”, institutions of education traditionally view this solution as substandard and question the motivations as if these people are undermining the system.  These are the same people that are blind to the epidemic drop out rate, which is often greater than 50% in decaying urban schools.

Do you remember the days before UPS and FedEx?  Mailing packages was slow and the often got lost or damaged.  Today, we have lots of choice.  We can use snail mail, email, video, text, including a host of national and regional package shippers.  Did the USPS go away?  No.  You can still buy a stamp and send a letter and have you noticed a decrease in service since the Post Office went private?  Just the opposite.  Now you can buy cards, shipping supplies and more.  That’s the power of the free market.

Back to the grocery and school analogy and childhood obesity.   Were you aware that public schools serve free lunch and breakfast?  That means, in a give year, 180 days out of the year,  students each 66% of their meals at schools.   So the biggest contributor of childhood obesity is….. the government.  Yet another example of a well meaning idea, creating unintended negative consequences.

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Resolute: Firm, Steadfast, Unwavering

Posted on 10. Mar, 2010 by in Blog, News

The greatness of America was born in the hearts and dreams of individuals cherishing the one belief…. Hope in a better tomorrow.  The resolute commitment to this dream caused the Pilgrims to perish and persevere through that first brutal winter.  The founding fathers risked life and property in pursuit of this dream.  The pioneers crossing plain, desert and mountain, often under attack and sickness, treasured this belief.

These people embodied the American spirit, yearning for opportunity and possessing the courage to take action.

Like the founding fathers, many of today’s students have found the government, designed to protect their rights, oppressing them.  The oppression comes in the form of state testing.  By design, all students can never pass the state testing.  If all students passed, then the test would be viewed to be too easy.  As a result, a group of students, often struggling with testing, reading or even life circumstances, are branded as failures.

It is very common for people to be labeled when they don’t conform to the government standards.  Labels such as at-risk, under achieving and drop out, will someday echo in history with terms like slave, internee and numerous racial slurs.

When people are free, failure and setback are temporary.  Free people seek and find a way.  Disappointment is replaced with discovery, humiliation with hope, and loss with life.  The fire in every soul is to achieve their greatest good, to make a difference and prosper their progeny.

Resolute Academy was created to protect, light and kindle the burning desire in the hearts of students, to empower and launch, to exercise their God given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Such students, having been downtrodden, discouraged and defeated, possess the same meddle of spirit as the pilgrims, founding fathers, pioneers.  They are the giants, whose shoulders, tomorrow’s generation will stand.