Imagine if most of the high schools in the district did not have a football team, or if elementary schools did not have softball teams or Field Day.  Few people would stand for that, and for good reason.  But just as all schools should encourage physical excellence, they should encourage academic excellence, as well.

Academic excellence does not mean getting a perfect score on a test in class, just like physical excellence does not mean doing 20 push ups in PE, although both are great.  Academic excellence means reaching beyond the classroom and testing ourselves against others.  This isn't just for a few superstar students; there needs to be a team to support them, just like the star quarterback needs a team to support him and a team to compete against.

I believe the district should require/pressure/encourage schools to create math clubs, robotics clubs, chess clubs, creative writing clubs, language clubs, etc. to a much larger extent than they currently do.  I understand that not all schools will be able to have every possible club, but to have few or none should be unacceptable.

The district could provide mentors for teachers or parents who are unsure how to run such clubs, and could provide small stipends that build over time until such "positions" are filled.  To really be pursuing academic excellence, clubs should be encouraged to attend regional competitions and events to measure themselves against their peers from other schools and districts.

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Scott Stubberfield over 5 years ago

As a 15 year Physical Education teacher in the district I believe the acedemic bar is going lower and lower with many students spending the majority of their day working on reading, math and writing. It's boring and I feel we are creating potential drop outs at younger ages than ever before. We are not educating the "whole" child. Higher level students are bored and not challenged, lower level students are bored and frustrated. Refocus on bringing back more P.E., art, music, band, civics, science, sports, clubs, etc. Allow our k-8 students to experience a wide range of acedemic and life experiences. Treat our high school students as adults and allow them to become apprentices in a wide variety of trades to learn life skills. Encourage college bound kids to do internships in career areas that they are interested in. School is boring, kids need to be stimulated, encouraged and taught to discover where their strenghts and passions are and to pursue them and their K-12 public school experience needs to provide that for all students. 

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Lovelyheart x over 5 years ago

I also think we will have more drop outs.Students who are struggling will also drop out because they can't pass the WASL which is now necessary for graduation. The WASL has probably contributed to the narrowing of the subjects available that you mentioned, and of course, the young people are bored! I love your ideas!

How about classes organized by ability within certain age ranges? Then the students who find some subjects easy can be given more challenging work, while those who struggle with a subject are given more time to learn what they need to learn.

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