Thursday, June 23, 2011

Frustrations about the System

Talked to K12 and asked about Meme’s grade level, which is still showing up on the enrollment page as seventh grade, which is the grade I want her to be doing.  In their records, she’s signed up for eighth, for which I don’t think she’s ready. I wish they would update the records that I see so that it would be less confusing.

After being passed around on the phone, I finally got a firm answer to my questions about her grade level. No matter what grade level is she doing currently, K12 places them in their age appropriate grade level – so a 5 year old enters K, a 6 enters 1st, etc. When the start date becomes closer, she’ll take a scan-tron assessment test (at that testing center that, if you remember, they still have not found) to determine her capacity level. At that point, her Louisiana certified K12 teacher will adjust her curricula to her capacity level, but her grade level will remain the same.

I have a couple of problems with this system of placement.

First, they insist that the state is making them do it this way. If that’s true, then why isn’t Connections Academy also forced to do it this way? Does CA have a completely different agreement with Louisiana? Possibly. Or is it their own policy they enforce in state run versions of K12? More likely. I honestly don’t know.

Second, what if I had been homeschooling my children at an advanced rate and they were several grade levels ahead? Or even one grade level ahead? With the way their placement works, they may be doing work on an advanced level, but they wouldn’t finish high school any faster than the average student who either wasn’t capable of working ahead or not ambitious enough to do it.

All those frustrations and feeling of powerlessness that I felt when Algernon was in school are suddenly resurging. (deep breath in . . . deep breath out . . . a little better now)

As a homeschool mom, I’m used to being the one to determine what my children are doing – for better or worse.  What I understand now, that I didn’t understand 16 years ago, is that there is actually much more wiggle room than most schools are willing to admit – virtual schools or brick and mortar schools. The teachers and principals have the ability to adjust much more than they let on, but it is a huge pain in the tush.

They’re not bad guys. If something is in the best interest of the student, they will go to great lengths to see that it happens. But, and this is a big, big but, I’ve always felt that as a parent I am never listened to.  I’m sure that there are many, many parents who either insist that their children are capable of doing more or less than the children actually are, and I’m sure that school officials have their fill of them. But I would like at least the pre-tense that I may know my child a bit better than they will by reading their scan-tron tests. 

Okay enough ranting! I have much to do and such a short time in which to do it.

1 comment:

  1. People like to blame the government because it easy, because we all know it's a faceless, boogy monster out to get us. Take the oil spill for instance. It was often blamed on the government when it was obviously BPs fault.