Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer School and Gifted Kids

When I was a kid, I remember that "summer school" was for kids who were in danger of being held back. But, of course, there's more to it than that. Some districts offer summer enrichment programs (in, for instance, Mandarin). When I lived in South Bend, a highlight of each year was participating in the "Firefly" musical production run by the school corporation, which pulled the best singers and dancers from the entire district. This was, technically, a summer school course.

Unlike the federal government, many states require themselves to balance their budgets. That means that as the economy turns south, tax revenues dry up, and something has to go. Alas, this tends not to be the person assigned to make sure all highway signs reflect the new gubernatorial administration as soon as it changes over, or the person assigned to print out all emails for the Luddite assistant undersecretary for agriculture public relations. Legislatures instead tend to cut the enrichment programs. The New York Times has an article about this here. If any readers have seen enrichment programs hit the chopping block in their district, please let me know.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Just the opposite

"Santa Cruz City Schools experienced one of its largest and best attended summer school programs in recent years after moving the five-week course for elementary-age students to a larger location and offering classes designed for more individualized instruction.

The district enrolled 485 students in the free summer school at Bay View, which is able to accommodate double the number of students than at the smallest elementary site, Gault, where the program has been held in recent years. Moving to Bay View helped reduce the annual waiting list for remedial instruction, said Principal Mary Anne Robb."