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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Razing the Bar on G Level Courses

That's right.  EOS will soon be demolishing G level classes in English and Social Studies.  They're being phased out as English 9G, Politics G, and Geography G will no longer be offered.  The plan is to continue dismantling G level courses in subsequent years as the Class of 2015 (and other classes that follow) moves through EOSHS.  Doing so in Math and Science will involve more "site work" beyond the boundaries of EOSHS and, thus, will require more time before a move is made to raze G level in those departments.

If you're wondering why, here's the rationale.  Based upon a study conducted by Lou Deloreto, EOS Principal, the findings confirmed what anecdotal information otherwise already suggested - there is a disproportionate percentage of special education students and students from lower income brackets filling seats in G level courses as compared to the A and B levels.  The data also revealed that those students who progress through a G level curriculum are highly unlikely to pursue some form of higher education upon graduation from EOS.  Test scores support the belief that these students may not be ready either. 

So, EOS is looking to eliminate this inequity by first eliminating G level.  In order to accommodate for this change, the following support systems will be put in place;
  • Common planning time will be scheduled for teachers.
  • Teachers will be provided opportunities for professional development in differentiated instruction and assessment practices.
  • Academic support will be put in place for identified students.
  • Special education teachers will be incorporated into B level classes.
This change will result in smaller classes, increased academic support, and expanded flexibility in course scheduling.  The hope is that all of this will lead to an increase in performance on benchmark assessments for ALL students while infusing a culture of high expectations for all.

Okay - so you may be wondering what this change will do to the present B level model.  The answer is - the change will make it better for everyone involved.  Instilling a culture of high expectations reflected by better performances on benchmark assessments and student engagement in the learning process should lead to more prepared students for the world beyond EOSHS. 

 Much of what we experience in life is fueled by what we expect of life, isn't it?.  And what we see often depends upon what we're looking for.  By razing the bar on G level, EOS is sending a strong signal that it expects more.  Raising expectations for all should lead to a more rewarding educational experience, and it may change what students are looking for as well - most importantly, what they are looking for in themselves as they prepare for entry into a global economy that will demand higher order skill sets to compete successfully for jobs.

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