School puts nearly 100 kindergartners in one class in a teaching experiment

Jul 30, 2014 by

By Valerie Strauss –

Brenda Scott Academy of Theater Arts is a high-poverty preK-8th school in east Detroit that is part of the Education Achievement Authority, a district run by Michigan authorities for schools identified as being the lowest-performing. Brenda Scott has an extended calendar and won’t end its current school year until Aug. 7.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder read “The Rainbow Fish” book to youngsters in a Detroit school last year. (By David Coates/Detroit News/AP Photo)

Last February, administrators began what they thought would be a worthwhile teaching experiment: combining three classes of kindergartners into one “hub” and instructing nearly 100 youngsters together for a good part of the day. Kids are tracked into smaller groups — determined by ability — for math and reading lessons as well as for homeroom, according to this story in the Detroit Free Press.

Why would school authorities decide to buck overwhelming evidence that young children learn better in small classes? The newspaper said that EAA authorities contend the system allows the three teachers to give more individual attention to students, though it’s not exactly clear how they they are able to do that.

Incidentally, the lead teacher is 30 years old, another teacher is in her second year and the third is in her first year.

via School puts nearly 100 kindergartners in one class in a teaching experiment – The Washington Post.

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