Comments by oneoftheteachers

Few details on Sweetwater district's student-data-sharing deal

Teachers are pressured into sending students to school on Saturday. These "interventions" are called by different names at different sites and students are almost bribed to attend. For example, if a student receives a punitive Saturday School, s/he can choose to go to an intervention class. Not only does the student receive extra academic credit, but s/he can clear truancies and 12 tardies by attending. When teachers assign detention and warn a student that she/he will receive a Saturday School for non-attendance, a common response is, " I don't care. I have to go to intervention anyway." The quality of teaching varies. When the actual classroom teacher prepares material and teaches that sixth day, I do believe the kids benefit, but when teachers are pressured to prepare even more curriculum for a substitute, that effort is time and energy taken away from the classroom. Sometimes, substitutes with little knowledge in the subject area teach the classes and science and math students receive the wrong information. Students, who are natural procrastinators, are developing a mind set that they don't need to do their work or even attend class for that matter because they can go hang out with their friends at the Saturday intervention program and with minimal effort earn extra-credit points while they clear tardies, truancies and punitive assignments. This program is hurting our students, not helping. I hope that the attendance for these Saturday interventions won't be used as evidence of how wonderful this Promise Neighborhood program is working. I know the attendance data is already being used to determine attendance rates at the sites, so the principals who pressure their teachers the most to send students are the principals with the best attendance rates.
— December 30, 2013 6 a.m.