High school students in Brooklyn walked out in protest of the Summit Education Program, a personalized learning program, funded in part by Mark Zuckerberg.
Read this excerpt from the New York Magazine piece on the walkouts:
Summit was designed roughly six years ago by a network of West Coast Charter
schools,and developed later with software help from Facebook engineers. It’s now funded by Zuckerberg and several other billionaires and foundations. The idea is to help kids take charge of their own education, in part by working independently on the software instead of listening to teachers lecture. Some families love it, and the leadership says the dissenters make up a small minority, magnified by their presence on social media. It’s impossible to get an objective overall picture,because there are no empirical studies on satisfaction rates, and the data on outcomes is limited.
At SSJ in Park Slope, some of the students’ complaints echo those that have arisen in Cheshire and elsewhere. “I didn’t like that it was a more self-taught kind of thing,” said Akila Robinson, a senior who helped organize the protest last week. “A lot of kids are more comfortable learning the more traditional way.” Other students have said it leaves them feeling stranded and requires an uncomfortable amount of screen time.
One teacher, who asked to have her name withheld, said most kids using Summit clearly haven’t been able to concentrate. “I’m walking around thinking, This is absolutely insane. They’re not learning,” she said. “I tell the kids to come off that Walkman, tell them to come off the phone, tell them to come off the website they’re on and go back to their modules.”
Of course, the excuse in New York is that it was hastily implemented. That seems to be the standard excuse for any ill-advised education reform that goes badly.
It can’t possibly be that it was a stupid idea to begin with.