Rethinking Urban Education, David Weinraub
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Excerpt from Rethinking Urban Education

The advantages of a flow-through curriculum to the students are many. Slow students will be able to stay with their peers, while doing work at the needed level. Gifted students will be able to progress through the
curriculum at a pace which will undoubtedly leave them free to do early admission college work, while still with their age group. Students planning on immediately entering the work force can learn how to use the latest applications software and other salable skills. Equally important, all students will come to understand they
have a major responsibility in the learning process. Learning responsibility is a major step in the maturation process. Once students understand that, if anything significant is to be accomplished, significant effort has
to be expended, half the battle will be won. The motto is, "Take responsibility for what you do or don't do."

The advantages of this curriculum to our society are also dynamic. No longer will our educational system be a rigid, lock-step process, which discourages creativity and enthusiasm and encourages boredom and rebellion. Stimulating and rewarding accomplishment, with freedom to pursue different directions once tenth grade basic skill levels have been reached, will undoubtedly produce enthused graduates, ready to take on the challenges
of a modern, technological society.

Remember, most of the country now has twenty-five or thirty students in a class where the teacher is forced to teach to the middle of the group. The kids on the low end of the scale are frustrated, while the kids on the
high end are bored. Freeing the kids on the high end from boredom will encourage those students to excel. However, the high end kids were never the problem.

What about the students who haven't come anywhere near their proper grade level basic skills? What if they simply don't have the ability to read, write and count anywhere near grade level? Not everyone does. At least
the flow-through curriculum will allow these students to move at a more modest pace, which will allow them to come through with some confidence and self-image intact, by establishing achievable goals. If they can only
get to the ninth grade basic skill level, that's not too bad, because there are successful functions they can perform in our society with those skills. But some hard choices have to be made and they will be described below.

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