Week Three: Comparing Cases and More Background Work

This week, I met up with my offsite advisor on Monday to work on mapping out some of the research I need to do. To list out, I continued reading Reign of Error and am now wrapping up Chapter 4. I am also looking in depth into a particular case of school closure in Sacramento that may have some relation to the case here.

I have also began to construct a spreadsheet containing some reviews for an online learning and practice program, IXL, that many students across the country use, but has been proven to be either counter effective or simply emotionally scarring. To see this endless Google Sheets, Click Here. These reviews were found on a website called Common Sense Media, a site for people to review a variety of things. IXL has been pushed by corporations that create these programs, but lack any teaching qualifications to create it. Many of the reviews for IXL criticize the point system, granting students 1 point when they get questions right and taking away 10 points when answered incorrectly. This negative reinforcement can really affect the emotional health of students. A lot of the reviews also mentioned how it didn’t teach any of the subjects well. For example, for math, it would often give the same problem, but only switch numbers. This allowed students to drill questions, but it never did a good job in terms of teaching.

On a separate spreadsheet I have only began to draft, I am charting up investments corporations have made in certain members of the California State Board of Education. With an increase in corporations trying to profit off the education system in America, There can be a lot of conflict of interest when it comes to passing legislation or programs that may not actually meet the standards students need.

In terms of whats happening in OGSD itself, decisions have still yet to be made. For now, the district office had decided to close Miner, Del Roble, and Glider. They also had Baldwin written up for one more year for review before deciding whether or not they wanted to close that school. Demographers have been planned to analyze the enrollment of Baldwin students for one more year before making a final decision for that school in particular. When making the decision to close Miner, Del Roble, and Glider, a lot of conflicts came up that made the board realize there needed to be more research before making a final decision. For example, someone attending the meeting brought up that if Del Roble were to close, most of the students would need to walk around an hour to get to their new school through notoriously dangerous neighborhoods. Thus, the board realized they could not close Del Roble. Many other complications came up and a meeting planned to end at 8 pm ended up concluding at 11 pm. Final decisions have yet to be made. If you are interested in attending any of these board meetings, I highly recommend checking out the OGSD website for the calendar. They have all the scheduled meetings on there. The next meeting scheduled is March 1 at 6 pm at the OGSD Office.

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