Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Moheeb is part of a new program that is challenging the way teachers and students think about academic accomplishments, and his school is one of hundreds that have done away with traditional letter grades inside their classrooms. At M.S. 442, students are encouraged to focus instead on mastering a set of grade-level skills, like writing a scientific hypothesis or identifying themes in a story, moving to the next set of skills when they have demonstrated that they are ready. In these schools, there is no such thing as a C or a D for a lazily written term paper. There is no failing. The only goal is to learn the material, sooner or later.

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For struggling students, there is ample time to practice until they get it. For those who grasp concepts quickly, there is the opportunity to swiftly move ahead. The strategy looks different from classroom to classroom, as does the material that students must master. But in general, students work at their own pace through worksheets, online lessons and in small group discussions with teachers. They get frequent updates on skills they have learned and those they need to acquire.

Mastery-based learning, also known as proficiency-based or competency-based learning, is taking hold across the country. Vermont and Maine have passed laws requiring school districts to phase in the system. New Hampshire is adopting it, too, and piloting a statewide method of assessment that would replace most standardized tests. Ten school districts in Illinois, including Chicago's, are testing the approach. In 2015, the Idaho State Legislature approved 19 incubator programs to explore the practice.

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How "new" is debatable - what's important, really, is what and how students learn.

#1 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-08-13 07:41 AM | Reply

"Mastery-based learning can be traced to the 1960s, when Benjamin Bloom, a professor at the University of Chicago and an education psychologist, challenged conventional classroom practices. He imagined a more holistic system that required students to demonstrate learning before moving ahead. But the strategy was not widely used because it was so labor intensive for teachers. Now, with computer-assisted teaching allowing for tailored exercises and online lessons, it is making a resurgence."

So they only reason we couldn't do it before was too expensive, but now computers can replace teaching labor?

In the middle of the article, it says actual grades just get replaced by color code.

And then it end with some happy NWO code words - signs around the room reinforced the school's philosophy: "Failing proves that you are trying," one read; another, "Being wrong is the key to being successful."

Is this really any better?

#2 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-13 07:58 AM | Reply

Meanwhile, the IQ of people continues to swirl down the toilet. At some point in time, people have to understand that not everyone is a winner. Someone has to lose.

#3 | Posted by kudzu at 2017-08-13 08:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

KUDZU -

Perhaps you've read it...Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron," from 'Welcome to the Monkey House' and first published a few years earlier in 1961. If not: archive.org

#4 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-08-13 08:57 AM | Reply

dok, perhaps you are aware that SAT sores are dropping every year. people are getting more ignorant every year.

#5 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-08-13 09:27 AM | Reply

Not all public education has been dumbed down, keep thinking that and the youngsters will eat your lunch. I'm sure many are slackers and never do wells but a lot of millennials are intelligent and and hardworking. It's the aging boomer that are the turds in the punch bowl.

#6 | Posted by visitor_ at 2017-08-13 11:42 AM | Reply

If there's nothing wrong with failure, why is it necessary to master material that you're struggling with? Why not just concentrate on what you're good at? And how do they measure if you've learned the material, if it's not graded?

#7 | Posted by WhiteDevil at 2017-08-13 12:17 PM | Reply

If there's nothing wrong with failure, why is it necessary to master material that you're struggling with? Why not just concentrate on what you're good at? And how do they measure if you've learned the material, if it's not graded?

#7 | Posted by WhiteDevil

Some are good at home invasion, some car theft, and then there some that just excel at mooching off the tax payer.

#8 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-08-13 02:49 PM | Reply

Why are there so many knee-jerk reactions to an alternative method of teaching? Do we think we don't need new methods because things are going so well?

#9 | Posted by rcade at 2017-08-13 03:06 PM | Reply

In the middle of the article, it says actual grades just get replaced by color code.

"Mom, Dad! I got a Chartreuse!"

#10 | Posted by cookfish at 2017-08-13 03:30 PM | Reply | Funny: 3

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#10 | POSTED BY COOKFISH

Wonder if they got the color idea from DHS's color coding of the terror threats?

#11 | Posted by Lohocla at 2017-08-13 05:15 PM | Reply

I'm starting to get the idea conservatives are simply against learning.

#12 | Posted by memyselfini at 2017-08-13 10:39 PM | Reply

I'm starting to get the idea that liberals are running out of ways to pretend children are learning.

Gotta keep the $$$ flowin' though. Now it's color-coded. Maybe next year it'll be Garanimals.

#13 | Posted by WhiteDevil at 2017-08-14 01:50 AM | Reply

I'm starting to get the idea that liberals are running out of ways to pretend children are learning.

Life dealt you a pretty bad hand I assume.

#14 | Posted by memyselfini at 2017-08-14 01:58 AM | Reply

i think this is great...not new, i agree.

#3
"lose" what?

#15 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-08-14 04:57 AM | Reply

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