Seriously?

So, today one of my administrators e-mailed me this article from the Dallas Morning News.

“For ninth-graders at Killough Lewisville High School North, every third Friday is judgment day.Teachers at the freshman-only campus set up three tables during lunch – one for students with no grade below an A on their progress reports, one for those with no grade below a B and one for those with no grade below a C. The better the table, the better the rewards, which include sodas, candy bars, chips and school supplies.”

Hmmm… this takes me back several years… all the way back to kindergarten with the red table (red birds), the blue table (blue birds), etc.

Does anyone else see a problem with this concept?

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7 Comments on “Seriously?”

  1. Shayd Says:

    I see a MAJOR problem with this. When I was in 7th grade our math teacher would arrange the students in descending order according to the grade they made on each test. It was humiliating, especially for myself who wasn’t the best math student but tried really hard. I would get really embarrassed and the other kids would make fun of those on the “other side of the room.”
    This gets into the whole issue of labeling students, which obviously is wrong.

  2. The Philosopher King Says:

    Perhaps this is an attempt at ensuring equity. If we take the smart kids and feed them a diet of sugar, slat, and caffeine then they will eventually regress to the mean. Soon we will have all students performing at the same level. Isn’t that the goal of modern education?

  3. stringersrandomscience Says:

    Time to move out of LISD.

  4. everydaymathchick Says:

    I work at KLHSN, and I have to say this is a huge motivator for our students! The kids come up during their lunch periods, and I have never seen a kid look embarrassed about going to either of the 3 tables. They are not called up by name — they just wander up to the tables when they are done eating. The article was right that it has improved grades because kids want to go to the A table, but they are still excited to get a prize from the C table if that’s where their grades take them. This is just one of many programs that we use at North to help motive our kids to succeed.

    Before you call us out for our methods, I respectfully ask that you look at our TAKS scores, our ranking according to Texas Monthly with the National Center for Educational Accountability (formerly Just for the Kids), and our failure rates. Our results speak for themselves.


  5. Everydaymathchick –

    I don’t question your scores; however, I think perhaps there is a better way to improve grades, TAKS scores, etc. than publicly labeling students based upon their grades. I realize that students are not individually “called out,” but the students in the cafeteria have eyes and they can see who goes to which table. I also think it has to be very disheartening for the student who tries really hard but just can’t seem to make it to the A or B table.

    I am sure the method motivates students to improve. I am just a little concerned about how it makes the students feel.

    Thanks for giving us your side of the story.

  6. everydaymathchick Says:

    I can see how not being here you can’t see how things are done. The days we do this program there are tons of teachers in the cafeteria. These teachers go around and encourage those who don’t get up to go to tables by looking at their progress reports and talking to them about how close they are to getting to the C table. Those kids we actually get to talk to and encourage are always eager to tell us (in front of whoever is around) what they are doing to get their grade up or what they have already done. It’s all done in a positive light. I was told later today that last time we did the program EVERY student no matter what the grade got some sort of reward as encouragement to keep trying and to succeed. The C table rewards are still really good. While I see your point of view, I don’t see this as labeling in a negative light because of the environment in which it is done: so many encouraging teachers and staff members are there to help make sure NO ONE feels any shame.

    Also, rewards are not always food. Often they are neat gel pens or mechanical pencils. Off the top of my head I can’t remember the other non-food rewards, but we’re not just hyping the kids up on sugar and fat. 🙂

    Thanks for allowing me the forum to let you know why I won’t “move out of LISD” anytime in the near future. 🙂

  7. Mike Allard Says:

    I don’t know how things are done in your state, but in our state it is considered unethical to disclose a students grades. By setting up a system as described, you effectively ‘publish’ the grades of every student.


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