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High School Kills Color-Coded ID Program

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the but-cubberley-high-is-in-palo-alto dept.

Education 406

theodp writes "Anaheim Union High School District has killed a controversial incentive program that assigned students color-coded ID cards and planners based on state test scores, required those who performed poorly to stand in a separate lunch line and awarded the others with discounts. The program was designed to urge students to raise scores on the California Standards Tests, but it also raised concern among parents and students who said it illegally revealed test scores and embarrassed those who didn't do well."

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good thing they got rid of it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660790)

christ forbid that any american should feel ever feel bad about being stupid

Re:good thing they got rid of it (2, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37660978)

God forbid you should feel bad about being a dickhead. You know, some people really are stupid, or at least not as smart as you think you are. Some people put forth effort yet fail to achieve. How about those people? Should they be humiliated? Maybe if you have a child and he's a difficult one to potty train you'd make him walk around with a diaper on his head to motivate him?

Re:good thing they got rid of it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661084)

In the real world it's not the effort that counts. And yes, being humiliated, especially when you know about it in advance and what you need to do to avoid it, is pretty motivating in my experience.

Re:good thing they got rid of it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661338)

Why should I give a fuck? All they do is protest me because I managed to keep my life in order. Fuck those filthy losers and fuck crybabies like you, filth.

Re:good thing they got rid of it (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 years ago | (#37661010)

There is also the fact if they are marked as stupid then they will work to meet that expectation.
I have seen a lot of actually smart and talented kids just barely pass school, just because they were labeled as such. Usually a kid at an early age will find what his place in life is and stick with it.

Oh well I guess I am not smart, but I am good at sports so I will be the perfect jock.
Well I am not good at sports but people think I am funny so I will be the class clown. ...
Kids find their Cliques to belong in.

By having a color system, it makes it harder for the large number of posers. The geek who doesn't get good grades, or the Jock who does.

In school personal success is much different then adult thinking.

Now what they really should do. Is stop listening to all the parents who beg, plead and threaten lawsuits for not to keep there kid back a grade, if they fail the class. If they fail the class then they should have to retake it over again, until they pass it. This shouldn't be something to be ashamed of. A lot of smart kids do fail classes for various reasons.

When I was in college I had to take Calculus I twice. The first time I got a C- in it and I wasn't happy with the fact that I didn't absorb the information I was use to in a Math Class. So I took it again and I did much better the second time, and also I felt like I knew the material and what do do with it. Then my following math courses were much easier. We shouldn't punish the children for not getting the material as well as others, there should be a system in place to catch those who falter and try to get them back and going again.

Re:good thing they got rid of it (1)

bratwiz (635601) | about 3 years ago | (#37661234)

Not to mention, what do you do if a kid just happens to like chartreuse?

Re:good thing they got rid of it (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37661114)

Stupid doesn't have much to do with it. The education system, especially high school and lower, rewards memory ability above all else. You can have shit-poor reasoning and logical skills and be the top student if you have a really good memory.

I'm sort of the opposite. I have good reasoning and logical skills but a shit-poor memory. I always tried to beat the system by learning the underlying rules and trying to come up with algorithms to allow me to derive information without memorizing massive data sets. I was always scraping by (doesn't help that I have ADD, an awful mental disorder that makes it very difficult to pay attention to boring things). Ask any of my friends, family or coworkers who don't know and they'd never believe it. They'd imagine that I was a top student

Really I don't think that creating this grade-based caste system in schools is going to do anything but lead to more arrogant PHBs and even more stress and humiliation on the school's "lower classes" - that means more child suicides and school shootings.

Re:good thing they got rid of it (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 years ago | (#37661116)

christ forbid that any american should feel ever feel bad about being stupid

... after all plenty of stupid people became President.

Re:good thing they got rid of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661132)

There is willful stupidity (eg skipping classes, and general delinquency which results in poor scores,) and then there is intellectually unchallenged (where the the student could skip every class and still ace the tests.) Under the way most classes are taught, both of these students will be considered stupid, because they willfully blow off classes. However it's not the case, unchallenged students could be thought of as easily distracted by more challenging things.

In the case of the article, the color coding was the flaw in the system, as it was based on the worst test score, or best improvement. Had they simply not color coded any of it and instead used a more technical approach (eg NFC, barcodes, magstripes, etc) something that isn't easily read on the card (plus it would save money in not replacing the cards) they could have still made use of the privilege system with subtlety.

I do see why they made a color coding system (basically to humiliate the low scoring students,) but this isn't a whole lot different than other civil rights issues, where the divisional process this causes, results in the opposite effect. Let's say that the smart kids start being bullied because they're now easy targets from the visibility of the cards, the kids might intentionally cripple their scores.

So visible embarrassment = bad.

Nice try though.

Re:good thing they got rid of it (2)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | about 3 years ago | (#37661340)

Seriously, I was an unchallenged child in school. I got horrible grades because I didn't find any use in homework. I always aced the tests because I knew the material well, but saw no value in wasting my time on homework. I would regularly get Cs and Ds because homework was weighed heavily in deciding the grade. At no point was my actual grasp on the material considered.

That being said, the kids who didn't learn the material well, but did a lot of busy work at home usually passed as well with similar grades. It was a system that benefited nobody.

Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (3, Insightful)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37660798)

Separate lines for lunch? Who could ever think this was a good idea. Sure, let the students doing well get some perks, just don't go around printing "Dumb" on the lesser achieving kids' foreheads. At least they wised up, even if it did take some external pressure to scrap the idea.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660920)

Main problem I see would be reversial. Once you've created a social group, even one based on failure, those members of it will seek to make the best of it. It could easily lead to a cool-to-be-dumb situation, where those in the failgroup are proud to be a part of it and look down on the boring lameness of the higher achievers.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37661016)

Good on them. If they can make working at McDonalds feel better than doing an interesting job, then so be it.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (2)

Captain Hook (923766) | about 3 years ago | (#37661320)

Kids don't/can't think in terms of future careers because they have no real understanding of what those careers involve and thus what the consquences of those decisions actually are.

The result of a test taken in 5 grade (*1) could adversely affect future asperations through peer pressure of the group.

Note #1: I couldnt find out whether this scheme applied to all or just some of the Standardised Tests and so assume it work across all the tests, which start from Grade 5 (10-11 years old).

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 years ago | (#37661018)

So.... what you're saying is they naturally recreate how social cliques work in high school?

You mean your typically below average intelligence individuals such as jocks and bullies didn't look down upon the high achieving nerds? God damn it must be raining cats and dogs.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661000)

How 'bout this. Starting with 5th grade give $1000 cash per year to each student in the top 5%. Then, the best might have $8000 ready for college and stand a fighting chance of actually being able to pay for it.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (-1, Troll)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37661096)

How 'bout this. Starting with 5th grade give $1000 cash per year to each student in the top 5%. Then, the best might have $8000 ready for college and stand a fighting chance of actually being able to pay for it.

Intensely DUMB idea.

1) Like all govt interference in the free market, the colleges will all raise their prices by $8000 in response, regardless if the student earned the eight grand or even if the student lives in a district or state where the $8K is offered. After all, by supply and demand, the supply of cash just increased $8K, correct? The school is leaving free money on the table if they don't increase their tuition by $8K. As a former "tuition reimbursement" guy, why should my employer pay an extra $8K?

2) It'll cost more to administer than the existing financial aid programs, if not because its more complex, at least because its a second system in addition to financial aid, so rather than $10K going to students via "old fashioned financial aid" the students will only get $8K with $2K for salaries of the drones, program managers, executive level, etc.

3) Huge legal and admin overhead to make sure the parents / kids don't just turn the $ into crack or weed. Big brother / 1984 style social engineering and control of all aspects of ones financial life is expensive and complicated.

4) After income taxes on the gift, the kid only gets $X where $X is basically a transfer payment from the local district / state to the feds. So the feds "have to" (or do they?) transfer more money to the district... Its basically a bunch of highly paid bean counters passing monopoly money back and forth without really accomplishing anything.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1, Insightful)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 3 years ago | (#37661240)

Like all govt interference in the free market, the colleges will all raise their prices by $8000 in response

This inference is so stupid I gave up my mod points in this article just to point out that the inference you are making is COLOSALLY stupid. Like most glibertarian shibboleths, it has zero basis in fact.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | about 3 years ago | (#37661356)

You've never met an economist, have you?

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661274)

Not to mention, that a recent study revealed that monetary incentives had the opposite effect on grades and test scores.

Every person learns at a different rate. Heck I had learning disability classes in Elementary, but later on would test in the top 4% in the nation on both the ASVAB and SAT. So, be careful how you start labeling those with their "current" abilities.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

WillDraven (760005) | about 3 years ago | (#37661098)

The problem with this is, the kids who need the money will blow it way before college, but if you do something like giving them a bond that they cant cash out til they graduate it removes the incentive for the student (at least until the last year or two of high school when it's not the distant future anymore).

Maybe the best approach would be a combination. $200 cash, and $800 into a bond or CD that matures when they graduate. That way they would have a short term motivation as well as a long term benefit.

You could put a system in place to allow students in extenuating circumstances to get at the money early. Little Johnny cant go to college if he dies because he cant afford to operate on his tumor, etc.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661026)

Obviously you didn't read the article. If they were improving they got special privileges, so even the dumb kids that started doing better got to be with the smart kids. This way no one knew anyone's scores, all you knew was there was a group that did well or was trying to do well and a group that did not do well or was doing worse than before, so even smart kids could be in the dumb group if their scores fell. But I understand why the killed it, treat teens like little babies as long as possible, don't show them the world is a hard place for those who do not work hard. Show them more MTV and 16 and pregnant so they can see that even when you're a complete screw up you're given your own TV show, fame and money.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37661058)

Which completely ignores how much of ones test scores is not in the control of the student. Resources are tight and children that come from homes where the parents can afford private tutoring have a significant advantage over those that don't. And don't forget about things like learning disorders and poor quality of instruction which might lead to a student getting a poor score.

Then there's the issues that come with immigrants, you'd be surprised at how much effort it takes in some cases to get them up to speed on something as simple as a multiple choice test.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

deroby (568773) | about 3 years ago | (#37661080)

First thing I'd do is check which line is the longest and then adapt my grades accordingly... 'humiliation' be damned, functionality above everything I say !

All joking apart, how would you manage to give perks to those who do well but _without_ anyone being able to notice that others are not getting said perks and thus by simple logic must be 'dumb' (your words) ?

BTW, I'm not sure everyone with non-top scores are 'dumb'. Frankly, I'm pretty sure I was a big under-achiever at school (15 years ago) simply because there was no good reason (IMHO) to do any better. If I managed "sufficient" grades at the end of the year, all was good. Had there been some kind of system where getting 80% got you this and 90% got you that (**) I might have considered working for those numbers. At the time I considered getting 70% by doing close to nothing was more than enough and still had sufficient margin for unexpected "setbacks".

PS: I do feel different now, being sorry not to have paid more attention to some courses as I can see the practical use of them NOW. But back then... I don't know, Explaining a 17-year old that some course might be very useful "once he grows up" works only for a minority of the students I guess; I sure wasn't one of them. At the time, school was life and I spent 18-ish years learning how to 'game' the system. (= you get grades for how you score on your tests, not really on what you learn (***))

(**: and I don't mean a silly Latin phrase like 'Cum Laude' or something...)
(***: disclaimer : I did NOT cheat (or in each case extremely minimal =) nor endorse cheating, however, at a point I was extremely good at speed-reading a dozens of pages right before class started, scored great on the test but by the love of gord was completely unable to remember what it was about the day after... let alone years after... I did have great scores on such courses but I simply haven't learned much from them.)

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37661202)

All joking apart, how would you manage to give perks to those who do well but _without_ anyone being able to notice that others are not getting said perks and thus by simple logic must be 'dumb' (your words) ?

Open your eyes? I hung out with a rather "diverse" group when I was in H.S. This was before the school equals prison movement got started. So our "hall monitors" were teachers walking from task to task, and an old granny or two. Now a days we have intimidation squads of SWAT and K9 units roaming the halls to teach the serfs they are just slaves to big brother and keep in their place. But I digress.

Anyway, think back to high school a couple decades ago:

1) I get caught in a minor (heck, even major) rule infractions by my former 2nd year physics teacher, or one of the academic decathlon coaches, or one of the "wise old women" and I get at most a finger wagging and a bit of a talking to. Even for stuff that would get me arrested now a days (repeated counts of possession of certain things on school property, use of fireworks on school property, repeated habitual truancy, etc, admittedly never "really bad stuff" like violence). I was also inspired by some Richard Feynman "breaking security theater" stories of his that probably would be categorized as terrorism now because of embarrassing the administration.

2) My partners in crime / fellow metalheads who were not in advanced placement classes and/or after school academic activities get caught in the most minor rule infraction by my former physics teacher or calculus teacher or AD coach and they get the book thrown at them, marched down to the vice principals office, suspension, calls to parents, etc.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about 3 years ago | (#37661232)

All joking apart, how would you manage to give perks to those who do well but _without_ anyone being able to notice that others are not getting said perks and thus by simple logic must be 'dumb' (your words) ?

Most of today's schools don't use cash for lunch purchase. Each student has an account that is debited when they go through the line. It would be easy enough to have lower prices be computed for those with better scores. I'm not promoting this idea, just answering your question. It wouldn't be completely invisible, but it could be substantially invisible.

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 years ago | (#37661118)

Separate lines for lunch? Who could ever think this was a good idea. Sure, let the students doing well get some perks, just don't go around printing "Dumb" on the lesser achieving kids' foreheads. At least they wised up, even if it did take some external pressure to scrap the idea.

I don't see anything wrong with the idea. We're protecting these kids from "humiliation" but it's better to embarass them a bit then to let them fail their way into life where they'll get smacked really hard, no? I like the idea of rewarding people that actually do well.

THEY WROTE IT ON THEIR OWN FOREHEAD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661126)

The students w/ poor grades. Nobody else did it to they. Reminds me of when I was in highschool freshman football: We had a BLUE team & an ORANGE team (school colors), for whatever reasons (I think it MAY have been initially based on what middleschool/junior high you came from)

Then, one day, they switched the teams players around (i.e. -> The best players went to blue, like me (lol) as a DB, & the "not so good players" went to orange).

Our "new blue team" was winning every game we played, but the "new orange team"? Hey - They lost every game.

Nobody did that to they, but they. In the end? Some parent complained & the teams went back to their original team member setup.

* Needless to say, that when Junior Varsity tryouts came around next season as we got older? MOST of the "new orange team" didn't make it...

(They just weren't good enough, & NEVER were, period.)

APK

P.S.=> I.E.-> If you can't "cut it"? Get into something else then, OR plan your future accordingly to be doing something else (non-academic related, or, tech-trade related etc./et al instead), because that's just life showing you that you "can't make the grade" in that particular area is all (for WHATEVER reasons & yes, there are avenues for academic review, in case 1 particular teacher is unfairly grading a student (lol, for whatever good those are for that is)) & not all of us are "I can do it ALL, and WELL, 'supermen'". In this case, on "making the grade", & literally in this case, in that particular area? Hey - it only shows these kids it's time to move on to something else that you CAN "excel" in is all...

... apk

Re:Wow, just write an 'F' on their forehead (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37661196)

I'm pretty sure the kids already know who the dumb ones are anyway. My old school didn't have anything like this program. But if you had asked me to point out the smart kids and the dumbasses, I wouldn't have had any trouble doing it.

Those that don't do well should be embarassed (2, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 3 years ago | (#37660812)

Anything and everything to motivate them. Coddling children doesn't do them any favors.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37660854)

True, I recommend flogging for failed tests. It's one thing to motivate kids (those who do well get extra perks), and flat out embarrassing (those who don't do well). Great motivator, I'll just start calling my kids "morons" any time they don't get an A.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (3, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | about 3 years ago | (#37660870)

Flogging? Wimp! We should merely shoot the lowest 10% every year to weed out those who are holding the others back! Second chances be damned...

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660912)

ROFLMAO

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 years ago | (#37661044)

Very important question and distinction.

Do you mean shoot the lowest 10% of each graduating class or shoot the lowest 10% of students each year?

Because in the first case you'd start with 100 students in a graduating class and end with 90. In the second case you'd start with 100 and end with 34.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

xeno314 (661565) | about 3 years ago | (#37661082)

Wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to address potential overpopulation issues, so the latter.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

MorbidBBQ (1453553) | about 3 years ago | (#37661272)

Kids will find something, anything to embarrass and bully other kids for. I think it would be appropriate if people got made fun of for doing horribly, than for doing well.

The option of going to school is a right. When students make decisions that hinder other peoples education, they have chosen to give up their education. Why do we force them to stay in school? If the students don't care, the parents don't care, then why should the tax payers?

Grades should be publicly posted.

Each year after 5th grade the bottom 1% of the class is dropped.
Each year after 8th grade an additional bottom 2% is dropped.

This way, a 5th grade class with 100 students would graduate high-school with the top 85 students.

The bottom feeders would be given one chance to make it up every 3 years. Otherwise, you are out for good. So if you fail 5th grade, and fill out forms to re-enroll, you need to redo 5th grade and pass every year through 8th.

Another option would be to put a time limit on highschool. 5 Years.

Give some meaning to a high-school diploma. Many schools promote students out of the school, even students who don't meet minimum the attendance requirements.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37660900)

Next thing you know they'll be putting them in stocks.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

kick6 (1081615) | about 3 years ago | (#37660902)

I'll just start calling my kids "morons" any time they don't get an A.

That method seems to work well in Asian families.... Its kinda racist, but by and large Asian families push their kids harder for better grades.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660864)

Anything and everything to motivate them. Coddling children doesn't do them any favors.

You must be trolling ?

How about motivating instead of ridiculing them ?

That might, you know, make them actually want to show up and learn something rather than being picked on.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661106)

Avoiding ridicule can be quite the motivating factor - how else to explain stupid fashion trends like slap bracelets and pre-worn looking clothing?

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37660874)

Isn't motivating children their parents job? I'm saddened that they even came up with an idea like this. Public humiliation is more likely to destroy motivation than provide it.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 years ago | (#37661140)

Isn't motivating children their parents job? I'm saddened that they even came up with an idea like this. Public humiliation is more likely to destroy motivation than provide it.

I expect it would provide plenty of motivation .... but not necessarily to work harder. They'd better issue the teachers and "high color" kids with bulletproof vests if they roll this out nationwide - someone will crack.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 years ago | (#37661236)

They'd better issue the teachers and "high color" kids with bulletproof vests if they roll this out nationwide - someone will crack.

In my day, we called it "honor roll", and the names were listed in the hall on a big board. Sometimes the senors got a preferred parking spot or hall pass or something like that. We didn't have FastPass for lunch lines, but it's not a completely wacky extension of honor roll.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661172)

Agreed. Motivation through positive reinforcement produces an environment which encourages children and adults to want to learn and to want to improve themselves. Public humiliation is counterproductive and never works; just look at the criminal justice system for an example of a systemic failure.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37661276)

Isn't motivating children their parents job?

Hate to break it to you, but a lot of parents don't do their jobs very well (this is especially true with the more poorly-performing kids). I knew a lot of kids in school who got bad grades, but who had plenty of ability. They didn't excel academically because their parents encouraged them to excel in everything BUT academics. I also knew kids whose parents were basically not even there at all--not even providing for their basic needs, much less encouraging them to excel.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660954)

Yeah but there's no point in doing this in high school. No matter how you do you still graduate with the same worthless education. 4.0 gpa still gets the same McJob as the C student. The entire high school system needs to be scraped and just let the overachievers go straight to college. You end up having to take the same basic math and English anyway in college because so many high schools fail at teaching math and English so they start you over assuming your high school was a failure so high school ends up being 4 years wasted.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 3 years ago | (#37661004)

Anything and everything to motivate them. Coddling children doesn't do them any favors.

Totally agree with you about the codling. However it is one thing to motivate, it is another thing to humiliate. No matter what the intention, this sort of marking probably would lead to a hostile environment - and hence worsen the outcome rather than improve it.
 
And at the risk of being Godwinned, visibly marking people by categories doesn't have a very good history.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 3 years ago | (#37661192)

The US has a history of separate lines ... but that was based on a visible marker that people could not remove

There was the Dunces cap and that didn't work ...

Perhaps the teachers should be visibly marked depending on how their students perform ?

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (4, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | about 3 years ago | (#37661006)

Yeah! Stand them in the corner with a pointy hat with the word "Dunce" on it! That'll teach them!

Rewarding is far, far better.

In my daughter's school they offer reward cards; they're a bit like loyalty cards. Instead of the old gold stars, they are now given points that can be exchanged for material goods. A point for handing in homework, an extra point for handing it in early, points for winning competitions, be they sports or academic.

By the end of the first year, if you do the minimum, you'll have enough for a Wii remote, cheap mobile phone, or little MP3 player. By the end of the fifth year, if you are a grade A++ student, attend all the after school clubs, etc, you'll have enough for a netbook.

Sounds good to me.

This is one of the new UK academies, if anyone is interested. And, one year in, is the highest ranking school in the somewhat deprived and poverty stricken area we live in.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

number17 (952777) | about 3 years ago | (#37661264)

Where does the money come to pay for this point system? Especially in a poverty stricken area. Studies on school fundraising here show that poverty stricken areas just don't have that kind of money. I don't think taxing the poor will result in that money either. I'm curious how the money flow's there as there must be some sort of redistribution going on.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661304)

umm good system - the jocks can still beat upthe nerds to get them to do their homework and still get the reward.
works for me.

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about 3 years ago | (#37661154)

I'm torn on this. On the one hand, crack the whip and get some response from the lazy slackers. But on the other hand, not everybody is "college material", no matter the effort involved, and there's no shame in doing an honest day's work (or as the old adage goes, "the world needs ditch-diggers too").

Re:Those that don't do well should be embarassed (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37661228)

If this high school is anything like my old one, I think the smart kids would probably be more embarrassed by this than the dumb ones. I took way more abuse for being smart than any dumbass ever did for being a moron.

So, jocks and cheerleaders to the front again? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37660814)

It's unwise to upset the natural order of things. Nerds, get to the back of the bus where you belong.

Re:So, jocks and cheerleaders to the front again? (4, Insightful)

Lumpio- (986581) | about 3 years ago | (#37660834)

Funny. Here in Finland the back of the bus is traditionally reserved for the troublemakers. Just like the back of the classroom. Further away from the authorities (bus driver, teacher), less surveillance.

Re:So, jocks and cheerleaders to the front again? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 years ago | (#37661204)

Funny. Here in Finland the back of the bus is traditionally reserved for the troublemakers. Just like the back of the classroom. Further away from the authorities (bus driver, teacher), less surveillance.

In the UK we all wanted to ride on the back of the bus - especially the middle seat that looks down the isle. I've no idea why, but I remember learning about Rosa Parks in primary school and wondering why on earth she didn't want to sit at the back.

Re:So, jocks and cheerleaders to the front again? (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 3 years ago | (#37661286)

Not just in Finland. When I was taking the bus (Long Island, NY), it was jocks and popular kids in the back and nerds in the front. I'd often ride in the first row.

Or... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660820)

Here's another thought. Do better on the tests, and you won't have to worry about being "embarassed." It isn't like they printed the actual score on the ID card or planner. It's a shame that, in this country, we let the bottom of the barrel bring everyone else down, rather than force them to either catch up or fall off the radar. It isn't just schools, but raising the children that way means that it will carry over into everything that generation does as adults. What's next? Musical chairs with enough chairs for every student so no one feels bad about not having a chair?

Re:Or... (3, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 3 years ago | (#37660918)

Standardized exams are awful measures of intelligence or ability. They are strictly measures of how well you do at taking exams. This is one of the greatest failings of our education system - that we teach to exams instead of encouraging creativity, instilling excitement, and developing real world skills.

And this is coming from somebody who was a very good test taker.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661062)

^^ This! It really cannot be stated often enough, loudly enough, or to enough people.

Re:Or... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37660956)

I'm always amazed that people think the schools should raise children. It's the parents responsibility to motivate their children, after all, every child is different and what will motivate one child may well destroy another one's desire to learn at all. This kind of crap has no place in a school system where the struggle for acceptance from your peers is already a vicious war. Just what we need more nastiness but from those supposedly there to provide support and help. How about mandatory study hall where they could actually spend time with their lessons with teachers available to help? How about some Positive means of providing motivation instead on always pounding on people who obviously have problems? Teen suicide rates not high enough for you?

Better now than later (1)

YouDieAtTheEnd (2471718) | about 3 years ago | (#37660840)

They want to stop kids from being publicly humiliated in high school? Good luck. The point of the program was to use the only effective stick they have in public school nowadays, peer pressure, and for a good cause in this case. I'm sure none of these kids are going to regret working at McDonald's for the rest of their life as long as it saves them a little embarrasment at school. Nut up California.

I dont see how this is not a good thing. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660858)

It prepares them for future. I mean don't they do shit like that in prison? You do what you are told and you move up to lower security tier, where life is oh so much sweeter. You get to live in in less cramped accommodations, have different time in the exercise yard, and you only get raped once a week instead of 6.*

*Disclaimer: I have not gone to prison, all rape statistics are rough estimates.

Baka to test Shukanju ! - Baka Baka (1)

burni2 (1643061) | about 3 years ago | (#37660872)

;) .. sometimes reality is more surreal than anime can ever be.

"What is your classification, student?" (3, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 3 years ago | (#37660882)

"Classification RED, friend computer!"

"I'm sorry, that information is not available at this time."

Re:"What is your classification, student?" (1)

garcia (6573) | about 3 years ago | (#37660966)

Sorry, no car analogy this time ;-)

Don't we already classify students, making it obvious when they do not perform well by putting them in cohorts which take lower division coursework together?

There are a ton of nerds here. Most of us probably took AP coursework throughout HS and some of us may have been honors students in undergrad. We then went on to graduate programs afterward. I want to know how this will be viewed any differently than knowing that you were absolutely terrible in Gym and History classes and were relegated to the far reaches of the building for those while others excelled and were taking AP and/or climbing the rope to the top of the ceiling and parachuting down to the floor to cheers of the crowd.

Kids know those who perform poorly/well already. This is doing nothing to add or detract from that. While I see it having absolutely no effect short of what the current education system does already, I don't think people should be all up in a huff about it either.

Education (2)

Zaldarr (2469168) | about 3 years ago | (#37660884)

Well in any case, effective education is a huge problem, especially with No Child Left Behind screwing things up even more, and something needs to be done. That something should be to stop passing everyone and making tests so easy a rhesus monkey could come out with a HD. This is a rather misguided way to address the problem. Rather than humiliating every kid who doesn't do terribly well, what about providing more support and time? Did they consider that?

Re:Education (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37661020)

That would require effort. They chose the path that left it all up to the kids.

Re:Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661104)

That would require effort.

... and money to hire people to do it. Unfortunately education spending had to be cut. Bank bailouts aren't cheap, you know. You have to somehow make sure bankers get their bonuses so their children can go to good schools and don't have to share classrooms with the rabble.

Encouragement, not punishment. (2)

ApepUK (2445232) | about 3 years ago | (#37660916)

I've read studies in the past that have shown that children, whether intelligent or struggle to learn, benefit greatly from encouragement rather than either reward or punishment. I truely believe in this.

By all means reward children for doing well, but certainly not punish those who struggle. Everybody is different and will excel at different subjects and it's entirely possible that some may be undiagnosed dyslexics or even have eyesight issues.

In any case, children should be praised for the work they do whether it is better than others or not, but then encouraged to learn how to improve themselves and nurture their enthusiasm for it.

Re:Encouragement, not punishment. (3, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 3 years ago | (#37660960)

It's human nature in general - not just for students - that we are more successful and more happy when we do things that challenge and excite us than when we do things for the sake of rewards or to prevent punishment. What's even worse is that once we've done something for reward it is even less appealing when we stop receiving the award again.

For example, somebody who take photos for fun decides to become a professional photographer. Once they start getting paid it becomes yet another job and loses the fun. Even when they quit doing it for pay it still doesn't hold the appeal it did before.

The same goes for children and education. Telling a class they will get a pizza party if they all pass an exam is an awful strategy for motivating students. If you instead instill excitement and interest in the topic itself they will not only do well on the exam but they often will go BEYOND the requirements of the exam because they are excited about the topic.

Re:Encouragement, not punishment. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37661030)

They need to put you in charge of that school system. I've already posted on this topic or I would mod you up. Most intelligent post I've seen so far.

Don't they know that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37660934)

Everyone is special in their own special way. Think of the children(*)

(*) Unless of course you've been arrested for it, in which case stop thinking of the children.

Mensans Untie, nothing to lose but your shoes. (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | about 3 years ago | (#37660938)

Let's go back and have the argument over "How much can we raise IQ scores" again. Arthur Jensen hasn't gotten nearly enough press coverage since he died. Or we could bow to the superiority of Lake Woebegone which -- as far as I know -- is the only place on the planet where all the children are above average.

I bet some kids revel in being in the "bad" lines. (2, Interesting)

gfxguy (98788) | about 3 years ago | (#37660946)

For the same reason kids wear their pants around their asses, if it makes them look "bad," they would revel in it. These are the same kids flunking out already anyway. Perhaps if you just come right out and call their behavior 'stupid' instead of trying to coddle them, perhaps if you worry more about their futures instead of worry about offending them, it might help some tiny fraction of them.

In today's culture, I picture the kids in the "smart" lines being bullied and ostracized instead of the other way around, though.

Re:I bet some kids revel in being in the "bad" lin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661128)

Sounds like a pretty wildly assumption stemming from underlying psychological damage.

You will know soon enough... (1)

mschaffer (97223) | about 3 years ago | (#37660986)

"revealed test scores and embarrassed those who didn't do well"
Sheesh! That will happen soon enough. "Do you want fries with that..."
'nuf said.

Unintended effects (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 3 years ago | (#37660992)

(A) Test scores are heavily correlated with demographic factors such as race and social class. In fact, there's some evidence that they're correlated more with those sorts of demographics than they are with factors like time spent studying. So whether it was intended or not, it's quite possible that the effect of this would have been to separate out, with official sanction, the generally wealthier white and Asian-American kids from the mostly poorer black and Hispanic kids, and treat the first group better than the second group.

(B) For kids who's friends are generally anti-intellectual, they might be more embarrassed to be in the "smart" line rather than the "stupid" line. If you're in a crowd where most everybody is heading nowhere in life and knows it, they will often single out the people who are going somewhere for bullying to try to make themselves feel better about their utter lack of prospects.

(C) Threats only get kids to fake learning, not to really learn stuff. You can get kids to pretend to go to study groups but really just hang out with friends. You can get kids to cram for the next exam and promptly forget everything the next day. You can get kids to cheat on their test to avoid school or parental consequences. But you can't get kids to really learn and internalize what they're supposed to know with threats - for that you need to actually give them a goal that their learning will help accomplish.

Re:Unintended effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661324)

(B) For kids who's friends are generally anti-intellectual, they might be more embarrassed to be in the "smart" line rather than the "stupid" line. If you're in a crowd where most everybody is heading nowhere in life and knows it, they will often single out the people who are going somewhere for bullying to try to make themselves feel better about their utter lack of prospects.

That's right. That's why I was bullied at school - jealousy. Man, if those bullies could see me now, whole basement to myself, parents waiting on me hand and foot, and all the Internet porn I can masturbate to... Those greedy, aggressive, manipulative morons could never have succeeded in this beautiful meritocracy of ours, no matter how much more popular they were.

It's about money (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 years ago | (#37660994)

This is what comes from tying performance to pay. I know schools here are awarded more money from the state as well as teacher performance bonuses for better scores on standardized tests. It's had this kind of push here as well. Lots of schools have even been caught cheating to get their scores up. Desperation brings on this kind of craziness.

Re:It's about money (3, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 3 years ago | (#37661052)

I've worked in a secondary school with performance based pay, and I've heard at least one member of staff tell a disruptive student that in the performance based pay scheme, there is room to let one or two children utterly fail in order for the rest to achieve, and that he was one of the "acceptable failures".

Not sure if she has that job anymore.

Re:It's about money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661278)

This is exactly the point I was going to make. When teachers and administrators are worried about their paychecks more than they are worried about the education of the student, the system utterly fails. If a decision being made is based first on pay or compensation gained by some federal program and secondly on education and reaching the student, then I argue that the ONLY reason was the money. The secondary reason is the fantasy you are telling yourselves to make you feel better about sacrificing children for your careers. The truly bad part of this is that until some school system pulls some utterly ludicrous thing like this, we reward them for their high standardized test scores. What about rewards for things like vast student improvement?

school administration (1)

bogidu (300637) | about 3 years ago | (#37660998)

Every day I see more and more items coming out of our educational system that make me ask 'where the heck are the parents' when these dumbass policies are being implemented?

Re:school administration (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 years ago | (#37661224)

Every day I see more and more items coming out of our educational system that make me ask 'where the heck are the parents' when these dumbass policies are being implemented?

Working in the brothel?

Re:school administration (2)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37661290)

Every day I see more and more items coming out of our educational system that make me ask 'where the heck are the parents' when these dumbass policies are being implemented?

Probably at work in a highly classist environment where certain "grades" of people have to share cubes in open plan, some have their own cubes in open plan, some have their own "full wall" cubes in non-open plan, some have an office... Management is allowed to park in the nearby attached parking garage, minions get to find their own spot far away, etc. Probably the plan makes a lot of sense to them.

Close to real life (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 3 years ago | (#37661022)

This is the big disconnect between us and our children. They live the first 18 years of their life under constant, state-mandated praise, being told they are special no matter what, and that they can do no wrong.

Then, when they are older and out of the house, they wake up to the harsh reality that those who do not perform are not constantly showered with praise and reward.

The ability to cope with failure and disappointment is a lesson we have completely abandoned and refuse to teach our children anymore, and is one of the major reasons children in the rest of the world are beating the snot out of ours when it comes to achieving success.

This program is a good representation of real life. While they may need to come up with a way to deal with Privacy Act of '74 issues, the program is definitely in the right place. Teaching kids that there are consequences to underperformance is a necessary step in childhood development.

Great idea! (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 3 years ago | (#37661028)

Let's start by color coding the ID's of the people who thought of this plan to a bright red banning them from using the lunchrooms altogether.

AFAIK, the most effective way to motivate children to perform better in school is to actually treat them the same as better performing children; people tend to behave in the way you treat them.

....and made the smart kids targets as well (2)

Madman (84403) | about 3 years ago | (#37661032)

As a parent I'd be more worried about my kid being targeted for being smart than stupid. Maybe in addition to a nice bracelet they should give the good scorers Jujitsu classes as well so they can protect themselves from the jocks.

Re:....and made the smart kids targets as well (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 3 years ago | (#37661312)

That was my thought also. "Billy? You're in the green line? Hey, everyone! Billy's a NEEEERRRRDDDD!!!!" Cue a choice for Billy: 1) Years of torment if he maintains those high grades, or 2) Being left along if he drops his scores back down to average. Way to promote being average instead of pushing yourself to get your best potential.

"embarassing those who didn't do well"? (1)

DMiax (915735) | about 3 years ago | (#37661042)

So they think it is wrong because it reveals the test scores? Are they insane?

First let's say why it is really wrong: because it identifies the student with the his performance and starts to dehumanize him, it could be mortifying and alienating if the student does not have a really strong character. Even more, who is to say that failing badly would not give you a BETTER reputation with students? In a school for lower class childrem having good scores could become a stigma, could lead to cheating, harassment and god knows what else.

But peer pressure IS important for education. I dream of a school where students think it is cool to have good scores, where a student can learn the importance of culture in a relatively innocuous way before his first job interview bites him.

Secret ?!? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 3 years ago | (#37661046)

"[...] illegally revealed test scores [...]"
What, test scores are secret now ? So much easier to manipulate them in that case...

Or better yet.. (2)

Mordermi (2432580) | about 3 years ago | (#37661054)

Actually fail them when they fail? Rather than slow a senior English class down to the level of the kid with a third grade reading level, just fail the people that can't keep up. That is motivation in itself. There are no one worries about bad grades or failing anymore because they know that they will be babied through school and not have to lift a finger to get their diploma.

If it weren't for No Child Left Behind then schools wouldn't have as much need to come up with off the wall programs like this.

Sad to see the program go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661070)

Wow, a school district trying to uphold some standards! Letting the Geeks get to the front of the line for doing well at academics, and letting those who don't do well go to the back?! It almost sounds like the school was holding kids accountable for their actions and rewarding the hard work that students put in! No wonder the program is going away.

Failing in Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661134)

... will be embarrassment enough.

Get used to being last in line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661178)

If you aren't motivated enough to try in school, you will always be last in line. That is life. It's probably one of the only fair things in life you can depend on (unless politicians flip it upside down for more votes).

As if high school environment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661190)

wasn't horrible enough as it is, they try to make it even more gruesome.

Alfie Kohn (1)

hduff (570443) | about 3 years ago | (#37661216)

Alfie Kohn's body of work makes good reading for a sensible approach to education based on how kids actually learn.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfie_Kohn [wikipedia.org]

In this instance, his book "Punished by Rewards" is required reading.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alfie+kohn&x=0&y=0 [amazon.com]

Essentially, when we reward for high scores (instead of focusing on improving actual learning), we get these kinds of decisions and further reinforcement of counterproductive outcomes.

The highly broken culture of education continues in a downward spiral.

What is this? (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | about 3 years ago | (#37661310)

No Lunch Left Behind?

Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37661334)

Really, the reason this was nixed is because of fear about illegally revealing test scores? That is even more incredible than the original idea of color-coded IDs. A school where decision-makers do not immediately reject the idea as obviously ludicrous is seriously broken.

Looks like the district didn't have metrics (1)

scumdamn (82357) | about 3 years ago | (#37661344)

The district should have run a pilot program with some volunteer students to get an idea of the projected improvement in scores so reluctant parents would have been convinced. Run a pilot and look at the numbers and you can show parents a simple graph of scores before the program vs scores after it.
That way the parents would have had an idea how their kids were going to benefit from it. It removes all the emotion from it and all the "good kids deserve perks" or "humiliation works to make things better" which are both just big generalizations. If it worked to improve the average score, go with it.
It's also the same with other incentive programs. They ran a test between three programs and the one that performed best was paying kids to read a book. Paying them to improve scores didn't do as well because it's difficult for kids to see a direct connection between their actions and test scores. Can't find the article right now. Google is not being my friend.
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