To the editor: Nat Malkus’ lament that the Los Angeles Unified School District’s credit recovery classes “may be a sham” is a hit job.
My husband and I, both retired English teachers, taught for a total of 60 years. We gave failing grades to many students, the vast majority failing because they were dealing with depression, divorce, violence, incarcerated family members or unstable living situations.
Should these students be allowed to graduate based on credit recovery? Of course. What about that student who pretested out of her credit recovery courses? If she could prove she had the skills taught by the course, then why not?
Malkus states that high participation in credit recovery signifies lower-quality programs. Based on what evidence? He thinks the teachers who supervise such classes are “unlikely to be the school’s best.” Based on what evidence?
My school offered after-school tutoring for years. Very few students attended. Why? There was no credit offered. Credit recovery classes offer exactly the skills students need, and they also receive credit.
Federal law guarantees each child a “free appropriate education.” For the high school where I taught, credit recovery classes are appropriate.
Ramona Van Dyck, Los Angeles
To the editor: Why doesn’t Malkus mention the suspension of California’s high school exit exam in 2015?
“Grading” schools on their graduation percentages but having no objective definition of what kids are expected to know is an obvious flaw. What is to keep schools from lowering their grading standards to pass more kids, raising their graduation rate in the process?
Gov. Jerry Brown recently vetoed a bill that would have allowed for the use of the SAT as the standard high school evaluation test. Why, because that would have introduced more objective accountability?
Too bad. It’s only the kids who suffer when a school’s top students get into the real world of competitive colleges and find out their academic prowess in high school may not take them very far.
Todd Maddison, Oceanside