Shamed Into Learning

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From the “Stories I Never Thought I’d Read Department” comes this little discovery from Yahoo News:

A high school that requires some students to wear ID badges announcing their failing grades.

Yes, you read that right.

At Mingus Union HS in Cottonwood, AZ “upperclassmen who struggle in classes must also wear red badges (aka “scarlet badges” of shame) with numbers that indicate their repeated grade level if their marks don’t improve.”

I don’t even know where to start.

I’m trying to imagine that leadership team meeting where someone said “Hey, I’ve got an idea…” and others went “Let’s do that.”

I’m trying to imagine educators so far removed from a basic ethic of care for children that they would think humiliation would be a great motivator for learning.

I’m trying to imagine how a school community could go so far off the rails to accept a policy and a culture like this.

Shame on all of them.

I’m hoping this school is an outlier. But how many other practices and policies are there out there that don’t start with a deep sense of concern for the children we serve? How many others don’t comport to the supposed values and beliefs that our learning environments are supposedly built on?

Might be time for a review.

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