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The Learning Environment - Essay Example

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Empty milk cartons and juice boxes litter the floor. Directly across from me, a bald, tattooed young man pulls on the arm of a smallish girl. Nearby, a random shout of expletives echoes down the hall. This is the snapshot of the school that I encounter each day…
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The Learning Environment
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Download file to see previous pages As I developed my relationship with students and began to learn more about their educational experiences, a rather bleak picture began to emerge about the nature of class placement and standardized test assessment. Although the institutional divisive system of academic segregation-tracking-should no longer be a reality in LAUSD schools, students are, to some degree, still segregated into classes based on their skill level. At my school, such "tracking" systems are still fully functional. Ninth grade students are placed in their English and math classes based on their state standardized score results, regardless of the grades they received in previous classes. As a result, some of the "lower-level" students placed in sheltered or remedial classes were actually the A-students in middle school who failed to take the state standardized exams seriously. These students are next programmed into classes designed for low-skilled students. Unlike designated "high-level" students, "low-level" students are often not provided with the same resources, nor are they placed in classes with a quality standard of performance. Low-level students have virtually no access to higher-level1 college-preparatory materials, experienced teachers, and most importantly, rigorous academic training that could lead to greater motivation for success. Thus, by reducing and limiting access to these resources, the groundwork for an informal tracking system is created. My own personal experiences led me to understand that many of the endemic problems of the urban school system arose from the lack of access to higher expectations and a college ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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