By: Krystle Crossman
The Brenda Scott Academy of Theater Arts in Detroit is experimenting with their classrooms to see if they can give their children a better education than what they are getting now. The school is in a low-income area. They have also been flagged as one of the lowest performing schools in their area. They have an extended school calendar that is lasting until August 7th because they need to try and get the kids up to speed with their peers.
In February they decided that they were going to combine three of their kindergarten classrooms and teach 100 children together in the same room. They break them down into smaller groups depending on their abilities so that they are learning with other children who are at the same speed that they are. It seems like this would not work well as there are only three teachers in this one room of 100 children but amazingly somehow the teachers are able to spend more time individually with each of the students.
The Education Achievement Authority is watching over this “Kindergarten Hub” to ensure that the children are learning and that the program is working as intended. One of the chancellors from the EAA, Mary Esselman, said that the model of the program is to get the kids to learn individually. She also said that they do not expect that all of the kids will be learning the same things at the same times. Marques Stewart, the principal of the school, says that other models have shown that smaller classrooms work but for some reason this larger model is defying that logic.
It is still unclear as to how the larger classroom setting is actually working but time may tell. The program has only been running for a few months which is not enough time at this point to tell how and why the hub is working. If this project has good results it could be a good thing for the EAA as they have been under fire for the last few years for the number of schools under their care that are low-performing.