Thursday, March 13, 2008

Truancy trouble

So Superintendent of Schools errr Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is taking on the truancy issue according Thursday's Tennessean. At today's Summit on Truancy it was suggested a truancy center be created.

But the mayor wouldn’t say whether he will dedicate funds create a center, only that his budget would reflect his priorities, public education and public safety.
Just a heads up about getting too aggressive in this effort. There are lots of student in Nashville that don't follow the public school schedule and are legitimately out and about during 'school hours'. Memphis learned that lesson the hard way after they got money from the Fed's to create their own truancy centers. They ended up having to pay cash to a family whose son was unnecessarily picked up, taken to the local high school and harassed. Let's make sure that doesn't happen in Nashville.

My suggestion is to two-fold. Get back to ensuring all students can read well, have a solid foundation in those old-fashioned 3R's so they don't end up so angry and frustrated that they act out. Then get rid of the 'time in seat equals an education' model. Give students a specific educational goal to meet and let them meet it on their schedule, using the education delivery system that works for them and then cut 'em loose to move on with their lives.

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