Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Benefits of Pk-5 transition into Pk-8 in Dallas ISD

(My opinion piece on Pk-8 schools was published 9-24-15 at http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20150924-bill-betzen-dallas-isd-should-lean-into-pk-8-model-for-success.ece.)

Behavior problems go up over 400% in Dallas ISD from 5th grade into the 6th grade, and remain that bad until high school and 9th grade. This graph shows how bad the behavior problems get. They improve in high school immediately:
Benefits of K-8:
  1. The chance of a student having a close and positive productive relationship with a teacher increases.
  2. Behavior problems go down to less than 1/3 of what happens in normal middle schools.
  3. Student achievement goes up. Harvard research showed that the same as 6 months of more learning happens in a k-8 school that does not happen in a separate middle school.
  4.  Students are near their homes, walking to and from school, therefore more school involvement happens in a neighborhood k-8 school.
  5. Parents are more involved for longer with their child and their school.
  6. Upper grade students assume the role of mentors and leaders for the younger students on campus.
  7. Students never go through that dangerous change into middle school when there are months when nobody in the school knows their name.   It’s a dangerous time, made worse by normal puberty changes.  Many learning opportunities are lost in separate middle schools.
See the research that has collected.  It all points to the value of Pk-8 schools: http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2012/02/separate-middle-schools-vs-k-8.html

Due to the problems in virtually all Dallas ISD middle schools, the following petition is now being completed and signed by parents in West Dallas schools who want their schools to become k-8 schools:
Dallas ISD Parent Petition to change their k-5 school into a k-8 school
If you want to use this petition and insert the name of your k-5 school into it and begin the process of changing your child's school into a k-8 school, email bbetzen@aol.com for a digital copy.

See the history leading up to the above petition at http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2015/09/west-dallas-2015-disd-bond-election.html