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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another consequence of over testing, the cutting of electives.

Rather than develop expensive and often redundant end of the year tests, school districts across the state are cutting classes, mostly electives. You know those courses that make school interesting or palatable for so many of our students.

From the Orlando Sentinel: A few weeks ago, students and staff at Timber Creek were told that classes offered there including forensics, zoology, African American history, medical research, genetics and others could be cut. Students started paper and online petitions, drawing more than 800 total signatures.
Forensics, which enrolled about 175 students last year and 110 this year after adding a chemistry prerequisite, may survive in a different form.

For about seven years, Anna Stevens has been teaching forensics as an honors biology course for upperclassmen. To align with the rest of the district, Timber Creek may have to offer the class as a more basic elective that wouldn't count for a science credit, said assistant principal Kelly Paduano.

But students and the school's principal say cutting electives narrows students' opportunities to explore a wide range of careers in high school.

"If students have exposure now, it raises the interest," said principal Gabriel Berrio. "It give the kids options to think about what they might want to get into later on."

We can’t continue to make school such drudgery for kids, and that’s what it has become for many in this era of high stakes testing and then scratch our heads wondering why so many don’t do well.

Well I guess in Florida we can.

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