Your kid’s flunking and you want him to spend the summer watching television?

I don' need no stinkin' classes!

Greenwich parents oppose summer school for their idiots. Greenwich Board of Ed wants to cut tuition for its summer school classes from $1,000 to $21 for certain kids but the parents aren’t interested, claiming they don’t want to deprive their children of summer fun. Honey, your boy can look forward to a lifetime of unemployment and he can spend time at the beach then.



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17 responses to “Your kid’s flunking and you want him to spend the summer watching television?

  1. AJ

    Why would anyone pay even twenty dollars for more of something they’re just not interested in. I have an insatiable thirst for things I find fascinating, but try to shove something down my throat and I will get in your face. Here’s an exerpt from an essay, web page, titled The destruction of American education, And what we must do about it:
    “In our dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or science. We are not to raise up from among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply.”
    –Rockefeller Foundation Director of Charity, Frederick Gates, 1913
    If you’re wondering why so many people are so stupid, the simple answer is because it was planned that way– yes even in Greenwich– and this article should answer your questions.

  2. Lotus Blossom

    My three, Julian Curtiss children, attended the Cos Cob Summer Program in 2009. They loved it. Every day and every minute of it. It was also hugely valuable to preserving their academic progress. I do remember it costing something significant for the three children. No discounts for us.

    I have read research that shows that the six weeks of summer break, sets children back three months academically. So if they finish in June, they are back to March/ April by the time September comes around. I can guarantee that my children fit that mould.

    I agree with you Chris, that if I don’t organise for my children to be up and out of the house by 9am for a specific purpose, in the summer or on weekends, then they would and do spend their days perfecting their television watching and Ipad skills. My children have been sailing over one week of the Christmas holidays, but any spare time is spent making up for lost time away from the electronics.

    I remember that you posted something on this site, that summer 2009, about your own lazy, boistrous, mischievous childhood school holidays and made me feel particularly guilty! If I didn’t know my children so well, I too would have been swayed that children should enjoy being children!

  3. I’m more than a little surprised that Greenwich charges $1,000 to attend summer school. If a child needs the additional instruction/assistance why isn’t that on the district? These are public schools, and they need to take some responsibility for their results.

  4. Peg

    Christopher – why should anyone really need to get an education these days? Just as the U.S. once embraced excellence and competition – now it denounces those who excel and wishes to seize the fruits of their labor.

    In a world where the wealthy and successful are castigated for being selfish and evil, where they pay a higher percentage of overall taxes than ever before, yet are scolded for not paying even more – then why would people bust their butts to get into that group? Particularly when we’re taught that we deserve to get a good chunk of what “the wealthy” have earned for our own pockets….

    On top of that, too often parents make excuses up the whazoo for why little Alyssa and Liam ain’t learning…. Send the darlings to school to work when they could be home filling their brains with mush? Naaaaaa.

  5. Greenwich Gal

    You have yet to address the abysmal graduation statistics that were on the front page of the paper several days ago.

  6. I’m agin’ it. my summers were deliriously good for just learning to me and read books and craft adventures and visit the ‘ other ” parent., where we built forts out of haystacks and lived on the beach… it was awesome. Read the intro to Dan Simmons latest edition of his novel “Summer Of Nights” for a vigorous defense of letting kids have summer time to be free… : )

  7. AJ

    When I went to Greenwich High (the old high school), there was no such thing as a high-school dropout. There was one guy who dropped out of Eastern Junior, but he was eighteen and had yet to make it into the ninth grade. I think the major difference between now and back then is that, back then, we all thought we had a future to look forward to. College tuition was only $400 per semester, and I was able to earn and save several times that during the summer before heading off to school. How many students can say the same today?

  8. Anonny

    There are so many things wrong with this thread, I dare not enter the fray. But oh-well. lorinhartnot so anonymouse, you are the only sane one here. Richard, summer school isn’t necessarily for “additional instruction/assistance”. Many kids have skipped too many classes, and must attend to get credit for a class that the district has already taught them once. And Chris and Lotus Blossom, really? Chris, you yourself have spoken many times of your happy childhood summers on Gilliam Lane. You don’t really think that a few weeks in summer school will mean employment vs. unemployment, do you? I can certainly agree that summer school is right for some kids, and necessary for others, but come on, summer is short enough. Let them have their fun. They work their asses of the other 10 months of the year.

    • Anonny, my understanding is that the remedial summer program is for kids who very much did not “work their assess off” – quite the contrary. Depriving them of a summer indoors playing video games (they don’t play outdoors anymore) might, I say might, teach them not to goof off during the next school year.

  9. peeps

    Fooling around outside is what summers are for, and there’s a lot of good quality learning that happens during that time. Read Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods.”

  10. Anonny

    Point taken, Chris. But summer school isn’t just for the “not work their asses off kids”. I feel badly for those who do work hard all year and their parents still make them to go to school in the summer. I know of several of these types (also see Lotus Blossom’s post). Maybe they really did love it, as he/she suggests. I’m guessing not so much.

  11. Georgie

    Am I the only one who finds it startling the bigger issue of this story which is the BOE allocates….a number picked from the sky of $90k…..based on what?

    And, then, with no plan, no strategy, no accountability or definition of success…..decides to throw it against the wall of “summer school” and see if that sticks…..or no maybe we throw it against the other wall of longer school day and see if that works… if Greenwich is the only school in the nation dealing with this problem and we had no previous experience, experts, whatever to draw from?

    Or, how about this…..lets ask the teachers who deal day in and night with these children their thoughts…..ooops, if they did that they may have to cancel the whole thing….as it happened with IB. We have a sorry case for a BOE is all I have to say.

  12. peeps

    From what I see, some kids still have rough-and- tumble outdoor fun summers. In my neighborhood, some of the homes have phantom kids. You could never tell children live in the houses except for the few moments that the school bus stops in front and a blur of a small figure zips out and gets whisked away, only to be quietly deposited back later in the day and never seen until the next time the bus arrives.
    Then there are a few families (a minority amount) where the kids are still playing baseball in the streets, riding bikes and running around in the woods. When I was head of my neighborhood association, I often got complaints about their existence, but I could never see the problem. We live in real life, not a 55-and-over development.
    I like hearing kids run around. I’m lucky are neighborhood kids (at least the visible ones) seem to all be very nice.

  13. Brian BTN

    How about using the 90k to start the overdue curriculum review for Math. Then we can get rid of Everyday Math, and get something that allows our children to learn.

    “Grade 6 teachers recently listed the following areas of concern regarding grade 6 students’ preparation for middle school math:
    – Difficulty reading problems
    – Basic facts fluency
    – Operations with fractions
    – Long division competency”

    I’m not making this up. This is a direct quote from the GPS administration’s own report. I am hoping that “difficulty reading” actually means difficulty understanding and solving math problems. The last three are only some of the important areas where the Everyday Math program is failing our children. In case you don’t speak educationese, “basic fact fluency” means being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide without having to think or use your fingers. Never thought this would be a problem in sixth grade! Thank Everyday Math.

    Better curriculum will benefit all Greenwich students. For more rants, click on the first line (Bad Math in Greenwich Schools) under Useful Links above.

  14. Greenwich Gal

    Everyday Math is a huge success story in my opinion. My kids consistently score very high in math thanks to that program which keeps pounding the basics over and over. That is how you learn math – doing it over and over, again and again, so it is second nature.
    Spelling – that is another matter, entirely.

  15. Brian BTN

    Greenwich Gal:

    You are right. The best way to learn math basic facts is to drill. BUT, Everyday Math does not keep pounding the basic facts. If your kids are lucky enough to have a teacher who recognizes the shortcomings of EDM, the teacher is supplementing the program so that the kids will learn. Take a look through their Home Link or Study Link books. Do you see any real drill sheets in there? Check the copywrites on the drill sheets they do get. I can guarantee they are not EDM.

    I am happy your kids scores are high. The same can’t be said for the Greenwich students 3-5 where scores are dropping on the CMT at the levels that matter (Goal and Advanced). The good teachers are supplementing. But it is not consistent across the district, and soon our real estate values are going to be impacted.