Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PBS: An academic year at DC Met, an alternative high school


Tonight, WETA and PBS presented Part II of “180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School”, about life at an alternative highs school, Metropolitan High School in Washington DC (“DC Met”), link here.  

Each part of the film runs two hours.  It appears to be indirectly part of Frontline.
  
The full link is here  and the “reality documentary” was produced by Black Public Media.


The film stresses the difficulties teachers have in bringing students up to even about the 30% percentile in grade level achievement in math.  The introduction of free response questions troubles them, particularly in questions where students have to respond to an analysis piece.   (I remember seeing SOL free responses when I was a sub;  one kid actually wrote about why we were in Iraq.)

A physics teacher discusses the difficulty of teaching relative motion to students who don’t get Algebra I, let alone calculus.  Reading and math levels when kids reach the high school seems to be about sixth grade.  

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