16 August 2005

Some Good News

Long-time Readers may remember some of my travails with colleagues within my school over our proposed plan for "bubble kids." These were students who we science teachers felt were in danger of not passing the science portion of the WASL---but probably could if they had a little help. (You can read up on the backstory here and here.)

We developed some different kinds of lessons and invited these kids to come to two tutoring sessions. Many of the identified group came for at least one session and seemed to find the experience worthwhile. But did it really matter when it came time for the WASL?

Apparently, it did. And I couldn't be more pleased.

I got the data this afternoon...matched it up with the names of kids and the amount of tutoring they chose to have. Of the "bubble students" who elected not to participate in any tutoring, only 10% met the standard (passed) the test. But for those kids who came to one or both sessions, 44% passed. This is a better rate of passage than the overall marks for the school.

There are some "unscientific" things about this work. We teachers did have data from which to base our decisions in identifying students, but there was also a degree of subjectivity. It might also be assumed that kids who chose to come for tutoring were more intrinsically motivated and cared about doing well---so naturally, their scores would be better. It's not like this was some sort of matched-group, double-blind, hoity-toity affair.

But we're not making widgets here. We're trying to help kids learn to think and be ready for the world that awaits them. And you'll have a hard time convincing me that our attempt to support these bubble-babes this year wasn't significant in some way.

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