My son is in 6th grade and his class in divided up into 2 different groups called ‘pods’. Each pod does the same course work, takes the same number of tests and is expected to achieve at the same level to earn an ‘A’. At the end of last year the other pod’s students and teachers were treated to a huge, expensive party to celebrate their perceived academic achievements. They enjoyed a fun-filled field trip, food, cake, ice cream and confetti. Apparently, all the fun was sponsored by the parent of one of the kids who works for a large corporation. The media even showed up to interview the children, parents and teachers and congratulate them on their impressive achievements.
In spite of protests from the students and parents of my son’s pod, school administrators justified the disparity claiming that the quality of academic achievement was clearly inferior in the pod that was not invited to the party, and only the most studious kids deserve to be so richly rewarded. This is pure nonsense given the fact that both pods did virtually identical course work and achieved at a similarly high level.
To add insult to injury, the administration intends to continue rewarding the ‘smartest’ pod with perks and parties. As a result, the most academically gifted kids are talking about transferring from my son’s pod to the other pod at the end of this year. They reason it’s the surest way for them to get a free party…and get on TV. Given the administration’s intent and the fact that many of the smartest kids are now trying to get into the winning pod, it seems inevitable that the same kids will be getting all the rewards year in and year out.
Obviously, this is outrageous.
Does it seem vaguely familiar to you?