Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

August 24, 2006

NCLB even for the summer

The Education Wonks found an article on a Texas school district that suspends kids who don’t do their summer reading assignments.

The Education Wonks: Overboard? – Thoughts And Ideas Freely Exchanged:

“We’re letting them know, in the world, education doesn’t stop when you leave the schoolhouse door, and just pick up again the next morning,” says Dr. Larry Lewis, PhD., Lancaster Schools Superintendent. “It’s 24-7/365, in this school district, if we’re going to make you the global competitor that we expect you to be with all those students in the world.”

Unbelievable. Of course education doesn’t stop when you leave the schoolhouse door but I think there is a strong argument to make that the school’s control does. Parents (and the tourism industry) worked really hard to move back the school start date to Labor Day for all school districts in Texas in order to preserve the “traditional summer vacation.” Guess it doesn’t mean much if the schools can tell you how to spend the summer vacation.

The Education Wonks: Overboard? – Thoughts And Ideas Freely Exchanged:

Many parents told CBS 11 News they were given plenty of notice from the school and around town. They say there’s no excuse for students not doing the reading and applaud the schools efforts.

So how about adding some math workbooks to the summer assignments? Or maybe since the schools don’t have time for physical education or the fine arts anymore, they could require students to participate in a summer sport or write reports on concerts they attended or a museum visit.

I think what is more disturbing is the punishment for not completing the assignment. Do they suspend students for not doing their homework during the school year? I don’t know about Lancaster but around here they just get a zero and go on. By giving such punishment, it appears to be a blatant demonstration of the school’s power to control of the student and subsequently the family any time, any where.

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Local News:

Ms. Kersh said students new to the district have until Sept. 15 to turn in their work.

Why do new student have to do the work if the whole point is that the assignments are supposed to be continuing the education process outside the classroom? Are these students going to actually be behind if they don’t complete the reading? It seems that the administration has gotten the part about education happening everywhere, they just haven’t figured out that it can happen without the school’s intervention.


  1. what was the summer homework students were required to do?
    a simple short essay on how they spent the summer would be acceptable
    most students need “downtime” even though they continue to learn each day of their lives, summer or not. A voluntary summer program to aid students who need further help to keep up in their grade level, or advanced classes to those who want them have been available for as long as I can remember.
    suspending the students–what a waste of valuable time. How assinine
    of Mr. Kersh to make up his own rules

    Comment by barbara gauthier — August 26, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

  2. He might have been doing more than making up his own rules, he may have been violating some as well. One high school teacher has told me that you can’t use punishments like suspension for not completing academic assignments.

    Comment by texased — August 26, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  3. i am still curious about the type of homework assigned
    and just how much homework does Mr.Kersh do over the summer
    and who is monitoring him?

    Comment by barbara gauthier — August 26, 2006 @ 9:57 pm

  4. The nature of the summer assignment is unimportant. The current education mania seems to have led some educators to arrogate to themselves an unbounded authority to intrude on the lives of students and parents. It is time for parents to actively and perhaps angrily resist the unlawful appropriation of their time and their rights.

    Comment by Richard Guess — June 22, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

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