ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Slow Demise of Summer School

Updated on July 31, 2016
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He wrote for IHPVA magazines and raced these vehicles with his father (who builds them).

Source

Additional Information

Regional Occupational Centers (ROP) are vocational training facilities designed to prepare high school and adult students for a particular occupation in the technological fields. There are several ROPs throughout California and have existed since 1967. They are public facilities which serve local school districts and offer courses for free to the high school students. Adult students have to pay. Many programs such as SCROC (Southern California Regional Occupational Center) have been nationally recognized.

Extended School Year (ESY): This is a services or program offered by public schools for students with learning disabilities. Usually, the student may have intellectual disabilities or developmental disorders such as Autism and are enrolled in basic or life skill courses. However, students with emotional disorders or mild to moderate disorders have been eligible for this. Still, those who can attend this much have a small box in their IEP labeled “ESY” checked off.

Remember Summer School? It's Possible Your Grandkids Won't

Summer School 2012 in my school district is about to start. I was one of a handful of teachers (all special education) to be chosen for this assignment.

All the students attending are those eligible for special education services. They had a section in their IEP (Individual Education Plan) checked off for Extended School Year (ESY), and/or had a course or some credits to make up. The number of students for this session are small. But, the ever-shrinking summer school program is surviving for one more year.

Ten years ago, summer school was much more than a small group of students and teachers. Regular education courses were offered to those who failed during the school year. Summer Bridge programs – courses co-sponsored by UCLA -- were meant to prepare incoming freshmen for high school life. The bridge programs were popular among district teachers and students.

Now, teachers and general education students have to look somewhere else for summer school. Worst yet, students’ parents will have to go to private programs in which they have to pay upwards of $300 to $500 for enrollment. In my district, the parents come from a lower socioeconomic background, meaning they will have to struggle to make ends meet.

My district is not alone. Summer schools at public schools in the state of California are going the way of the dinosaurs.

Some districts have managed to hold on to them. Others have trimmed their offerings to only the basic academic courses such as math and English. Others have turned to private schools and leased out their campuses to them during this time of the year.

Many districts, on the other hand, have done away with them. State funding of education is at an all-time low, meaning drastic cuts have reduced what can be offered. In these particular districts, summer school was the first casualty.

In many cases – whether the school district has a limited form of summer school or don’t have any -- students are told to sign up in another district. The students in my district will have to go to an adult school or campus in neighboring Gardena or Westchester, which are operated by Los Angeles Unified School District.

But this move is not always popular with students and parents. Many may have to travel for miles to get to a campus. And when they get there to enroll, they will have to pay.

The Demise Started Early

Much of the erosion has been blamed on the current economic situation. California was hard hit by the last recession and has struggled to recover from it. On top of that, revenues for public schools were drastically affected when the housing boom went bust.

While the economic upheaval of the last half of the previous decade played a crucial role, the damage was done much earlier.

In 1978, voter-approved Proposition 13 was enacted. This radical proposition, created and funded by a “tax-reform” group known as the Howard Jarvis Group, curtailed property tax throughout the state. While the proposition was seen as a relief to homeowners, it had seriously curtailed funding for public schools.

In the mid to late seventies, summer schools were offering many things such as arts and craft programs, field trips, sports and other activities for elementary and junior high students.

Some of these things were offered at the high school level. However, the emphasis was on academics. Students could either take course to make up credits, or take courses to advance in their education.

Over the next 35 years, school programs started to erode. The effects were immediately felt in summer schools. After the summer of 1977, most of the programs at the elementary and junior high level were scaled back.

Summer schools now consisted mostly of academic courses with little or no frills added. Many affluent school districts managed to hold onto their program. But, eventually, they either turned it over to private schools or other districts or reduced what they had to offer.

As time marched on, the choices were few. In many cases the only students attending were there for mandatory reasons (make-up).

In later years, the California Lottery was formed on the grounds that it would help fund public education. However, after its implementation, much of the money went to overhead costs. Very little money came from it (in fact, one of the most popular saying in California when referring to the schools' conditions and the lottery for the last two decades was :" I thought that money was going towards education.")

Some Bright Spots

LAUSD and other large school districts have implemented year-round schools, thus, in many cases, the idea of summer school doesn’t really apply. Various city civic centers have picked up the slack, offering summer programs in the arts or sports. Also, private and public organizations have helped to establish pre-schools or sports programs such as the LA-Watts Summer Game, which has been going on for more than 30 years.

Also, there has been an increase in tutoring companies, online schools, and vocational education programs offered by the local Regional Occupational Centers (ROP). Many schools have formed agreements with ROPs, which have had held sessions during the summer, offering various courses such as auto repair, digital production, and horticulture (it needs to be noted, however, that ROPs have been affected by the state’s financial problems and have reduced their offerings or had contracts with school districts terminated).

How it Affects Teachers

Still, the decline of summer schools has had a profound effect on teachers. Summer school is the closest thing teachers have to having paid-overtime. Its demise means that they will have to look for work somewhere during the summer months. Some may opt to teach in a low-pay private summer school program or start tutoring friends or family members’ children.

This year, in my district, summer school will be held in school in a few temporary bungalows. Ten to twelve teachers will teach possibly less than 100 students for half the day during a four-day week. It’s not exactly summer school from a few years back; however, I feel somewhat lucky that school is still in session, barely.

Update 2015 (for my school district)

My district brought summer school back. Now, it's comprehensive and it can be used by both general and special education students. That's the plus; however, another problem has persisted, making this situation more dire than before.

Not enough students are showing up for summer school. And the results are grim. Some courses are being folded due to the lack of students enrolled in the program.

One possible answer to why this is happening may have to do with bad habits on the part of the teachers. For years, teachers were told not to fail students (in particular, special education students). Simply put, it looked good to outsiders and kept the raging parents away.

Now that practice is coming back to affect many summer school teachers. Some have had their courses collapsed while others were relegated to substitute teaching duties before school started.


Source

Summer School

© 2012 Dean Traylor

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Can You Believe This!? And I just love graduating failing students.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)