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Sophie Peterson

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How do Open Programs benefit and not benefit the school system?

I am writing a paper on the open program at South high and why I participate. I just wanted to know peoples views on this topic. Yes! very sorry.
The open program or Open Philosophy is,
Non dependent on tests.
Testing does not reflect one’s true learning. When I take a test my palms get sweaty and I get really nervous. Tests say what college I get into and what career I enter. It should not. College does look at grades, but testing is influential. To influential. Classes should focus on:
-Comprehension of material.
-Talking in discussions
-Looking forward to learning.
-Learning to learn not just for a grade.

a test. Not knowing how taxes work, or how to balance a checkbook. I have no clue.
For six hours, five days a week, we are put in a three story building. Cut off from the outside for six hours. We will be pushed into the world one day and not know what’s going on, because we were locked in a building and not permitted outside and, Life is going on around outside and we need to know how to handle it.

  • May 23 2014: Evidently this program is a total flop, if your ability to communicate concisely and completely the first time around is any indication.
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      May 24 2014: If you are expecting a High School student to be perfect in her writing then you are asking too much. I wrote this unedited and raw.
      I'm sorry for my inability to communicate concisely but that inability is called learning. I posted this for people to comment on what people thought of the Open Program not of my ability or inability to perfectly write something. So if you would like to comment on the Open Program then go right ahead. But if you are going to compare me to the Open Program and why that is an example of why it's bad, then I don't need your comment.
      Look at my revised edition (what I added on later) and see what you think. But if you are going to degrade me for my inabilities then don't comment again.
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    May 19 2014: I think they help the school system by providing choice. Students have different needs with their schedules and open classes provide students with a choice on meeting those needs.
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    May 24 2014: I read the Wikipedia entry on South High School in Minneapolis, but even there the Open Program is not described in very much detail.Without detail it is difficult for thoughtful people to comment.

    I read in the article that your high school is one of the largest in your city and that there has been a tremendous gap in achievement between the students in the most rigorous classes and those not- that your state therefore rated the school as a whole at 2 stars of a possible 5.

    I think the four characteristics you put forward will be part of any sound academic program and that no philosophy of education aims at giving kids good bubbling skills. Some questions you might ask yourself as part of preparing your paper are: How do you know whether you comprehend the material? How is your ability to use what you learn in an authentic context assessed, both so you know what you need to work on to increase your proficiency and so any teacher involved in your learning knows how to help you? Is there any challenge involved in learning in your program, or is facing challenge not part of it? How are students challenged, if that is part of the program? Is there differentiation of approach or content based on students' different levels?

    What do you learn? Do you have a curriculum in math or science or history, for example?

    If you were a parent choosing a school for a child, would knowing that there are no tests be all you would need to know to choose? What else would you look for? If you also heard that students loved their school and looked forward to going each day, would that be enough? What would you ask of the school and how would you verify the school's claims?

    It is difficult for people to give thoughtful comment if all readers know is that there are no tests. Perhaps you should describe whether there is any ongoing assessment at all of what you understand and are able to do.

    Do you think kids in the most rigorous programs are learning less of importance?
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    May 24 2014: Thanks for adding to the explanation. It's a little confusing what you say here: "a test. Not knowing how taxes work, or how to balance a checkbook. I have no clue." Are you saying you don't know how taxes work, and don't know how to balance a checkbook? That doesn't seem like it would be good when you actually have to deal with the world?
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    May 23 2014: Sophie, It appears that we are still trying to pin down the Open Program ... from what you have said and replied ... the key is the method of evaluation ... is that true?

    I have searched the web and have not found a answer ... until we are clear on Open Program we cannot respond to your question with any degree of accuracy.
  • May 22 2014: Hi Dear Sophia,I am sorry,I got questions to ask you:What Open programs do you mean?Why Open program just focus on benefit of school system but students' growing?What school system do you mean?Thank you.
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      May 22 2014: Hello!
      The South High Open Program in Minneapolis.
      We do focus on growing. Just not growing to learn how to fill little bubbles on a test.
      The Minneapolis Public school system.
      And, always ask questions! It helps both ends learn
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    May 21 2014: That's 'Too influential', not "To influential". Of course, you probably don't think that's significant - being able to communicate precisely. The 'idea' is more important, right? That you can effectively 'discuss' and are interested in learning should be the primary focus for an 'enclosed' education, correct? So in the 'open' scenario, you're not 'tested'. Then your 'accountability' is in your enthusiasm and interest regarding the comprehension of material. If you think your palms are sweaty now, in the 'real world' your 'test' is your results, and failure can be destitution. This is why your 'enclosed', secluded from the real world until you have - at the very least - a rudimentary understanding of some fundamentals. Soon you will (presumably) be in college, which is a sort of hybrid 'enclosed' and 'outside' learning environment, gently transitioning you into a valuable position in society, where your training will continue in the subtleties of real success. How to cope with this arrangement? Understand it for what it is and use it to your advantage. Stop whining and dedicate yourself to learning how to do something effectively. The 'real world' doesn't care about your dissatisfaction with the way things are set up. They want qualified contribution. So relish those "To influential" tests as training in your ability to achieve the results coveted by the 'life going on outside', and maybe you'll live happily ever after. :)
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      May 23 2014: Life dose not have planned out tests. We need to learn to take the spontaneous on the spot tests were it is not planned out. And you don't know if you passed or failed the next day. The point of the open program is to learn how to live in the real world. Learn what to do outside of school.
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        May 23 2014: Sophie, you seem like a really nice person. And cudo's to you for participating in this forum. If the point of the program is to teach how to live in the real world, your idea of spontaneous testing is quite good. I would add: monetary fines for rule infractions - with the threat of imprisonment; student (not parent) paid books, materials, and class time; and an occasional random student dismissed from the program because their position was eliminated - just to name a few. All the best.
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          May 23 2014: Yes! So very much do I agree. And thank you. I have been working hard to see views of others, I am young and still learning. :)
      • May 23 2014: Maybe life "dose not have planned out tests" [sic] but life DOES consider repeated orthographic mistakes a sign of incompetence.
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    May 20 2014: Yes very sorry,
  • May 20 2014: Dah wah?
    Da hoodee?
    Da huh?
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    May 20 2014: probably this will be a better conversation if you tell us what the open program is?
  • May 20 2014: I don't know what you mean by Open Programs. If this is something like a democratic school or similar where students all have their own pace of learning etc. then you may want to have a look at Jena-plan schooling. It's been around for a while and is quite popular in Europe.
    Here is a case study that gives quite a good description of how the system works and why it works.