Instead of taking math, english, music and PE throughout the year, you take "4x4", four courses in the first half, and four in the second half, or eight for the entire year. Critics say students get bored after an hour and simply waste time, leads to disasterous reductions in academic performance, and just a bad idea.
Music teachers say students drop out because they can't schedule music throught the year, and the SAT and AP people say it has a terrible effect on math scores as well because you go for a half year without doing any math or science.
It supposedly is well suited for school to work work assignments, but that makes it even harder to schedule in music or PE.
Another variation is to teach teach groups of up to 70 students
@@AgainstIOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
Policy Research Report #13: Block Scheduling in Texas Public Schools
"Texas Education Agency researchers say they can find no proof that longer class periods -- used in the block scheduling approach in Texas high schools -- have resulted in improved student learning. The findings are contained in a new 54-page study prepared by the TEA's research and evaluation division...How effectively students and teachers engage in the teaching-learning process appears to matter much more than the length of class periods...The authors also acknowledged the arguments of critics who complained that block scheduling actually reduces instructional time over the school year -- and that teacher and student concentration is weakened over a 90-minute period."
BLOCK SCHED HURTS MATH SCORES link Block Scheduling Effects on a State Mandated Test of Basic Skills William R. Veal University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill James Schreiber Indiana University For reading and language, there was no statistically significant difference in test results. There was a statistical difference mathematics-computation. Block mathematics is an ideal format for obtaining more credits in mathematics, but the block format does little for mathematics achievement and conceptual understanding. TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL COMES BACK WITH BLOCK PROS AND CONS "I believe after reading this list of pros and cons, it is quite clear that block scheduling hurts the academic standards of a school." Brookings-Harbor School District Oregon Drops Block Scheduling and why it is a failure. "Perhaps the most important is that under the present block schedule framework, there are a number of students who do not receive adequate instruction in the critical areas of English, Math and Science in a timely manner to prepare them for mandatory state tests in these three subjects." Block Scheduling harms music BLOCK SCHEDULING HARMS AP TEST SCORES The College Board, which oversees the Advanced Placement (AP) Tests, released a statement entitled "AP and January Examination" on September 19, 1996. Of the thirteen examinations in which there were 100 or more semester intensive block scheduled students, those who took the course over a full year averaged higher scores in 77% of (20 of the 26) cases. In calculus, history, and the sciences, mean grades for block scheduled students were about 0.6 (about half a standard deviation) lower than the mean for students who took the course over the full year. Under the block, AP exam scores for calculus, history, and the sciences drop on the average by 0.6 points. The maximum score is 5.0 and the average is well below that (typically a little over 3, I believe) so a drop of 0.6 points is almost a 20% reduction in performance (0.6/3 = 0.2). Block Scheduling House of Problems Teachers and Parents in the Wissahickon School District. Ambler, PA, 19002. Vito Sabella Intensive Block Scheduling Residents for Quality Education P.O. Box 56 Wallingford,Pa 19086 -------------------- COLLEGE BOARD SAYS BS HURTS MATH TEST SCORES The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 24, 1996 written by a popular columnist, David Boldt. "It hurts,not helps" As I tried to explain at the time I think intensive block scheduling is emblematic of the sort of ineffectual and incompetent "reform" school administrators are perpetually dragging out to show an increasingly critical public that they are doing something. The preliminary report from Dr. Bateson's 1995 study (M. Marshall, A. Taylor, D. Bateson, and S. Brigden, "The British Columbia Assessment of Mathematics and Science: Preliminary Report (DRAFT), 1995) is on the Web. From: Quentin49 Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 17:43:06 -0500 (EST) Is there anyone on the loop who is familiar with Joseph Carroll and the trial runs he did at Masconomet High School in Massachussetts from 1988 to 1991? Don't point me to Jeff Lindsay's pages, I've been there and done that. I am looking for anyone who has had personal experience with this particular school. Carroll described the Block Scheduling experiment run their where the IBS schedule was compared to a normal 7 class schedule. After 3 years the district voted to return to the traditional schedule and Carroll took his show on the road as a "consultant". http://www.sciences.drexel.edu/block/local/newsletter1.html \clip\97\25\strath.htm Open Letter to the Strath Haven Community FROM:Residents for Quality Education The intensive block scheduling plan now proposed for Strath Haven High School would turn yearlong courses into one semester courses, based on a class time of 80 minutes per day. The traditional 8-period school day would be replaced by 4 extended periods. The school calendar also would be changed, replacing the 4-term year with an 80-80-25 day plan. The first two 80-day semesters would be used for formalized class studies. The last 25-day mini-semester would consist of a diverse offering of mini-courses, independent studies, and community or industry experiences. STW AND MARXIST VISION Teacher Calls STW "One More Circus Act" August 07, 1997 School-to-Work: One More Circus Act by Donna Smith file under - block schedule, school-to-work source: The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs The block schedule works best for STW as the average 85-minute period lends itself to fewer classes for attendance on the school site and allows for more time on the work site. It allows time for in-class, cooperative learning groups—those circles for the honing of skills for the workplace. It works, too, for vocational classes because of the time allowed for projects and, again, for more time on the work site. For the core curriculum, however, such scheduling has forced teachers to juggle academics to accommodate a year’s course compressed into one semester. BLOCK SCHEDULING The parents at Montgomery County High were given the option to vote on whether or not they wanted block scheduling two years ago. \clip\97\25\block.txt Block schedule disaster in Santa Monica High School, S.M., CA, experimented with a trial block-schedule for three weeks. It was a disaster. Instead of 110 minute blocks, classes were only 90 minutes long, because the students cannot concentrate for so long! During the wasted 20 minutes %%For z47\clip\2000\12\block.htm http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kque0011.htm Block Scheduling Revisited By J. Allen Queen Nov 2000 In 1998 Donald Hackmann and David Waters found several positive outcomes as a result of block scheduling.12 They discovered that students were able to take a broader array of courses. In addition, schools reported fewer disciplinary referrals, improved class attendance, increased numbers of students completing Advanced Placement courses, advanced mastery of subject content, and improved course grades. Similarly, Sharon Skrobarcek and her colleagues reported that students received more individual attention from teachers in the block design.13 In addition, they found that 75% of students reported that teachers varied instructional activities. [but pitfalls... some teachers continue to lecture] \clip\99\02\edclip08.txt Des Moines Register: Block Schedules reportedly improve grades Longer class times praised, sought by D.M.-area schools Block schedules reportedly improve grades and reduce discipline problems. By KATHY A. BOLTEN Register Staff Writer 01/18/1999 the number of students receiving A's and B's has increased by 3 percent from three years ago when the block schedule was first adopted, said Associate Principal Charlie Axtell. There"s also been a decline in discipline problems during the time students change classes, he said. A place that is looking into block scheduling, another "new idea". %%Math http://www.sciences.drexel.edu/block/canadianstudy/5pagestudy.html It appears that the hypothesized benefits of semester and quarter systems, in terms of student achievement, are not being realized in mathematics in British Columbia. In fact, it appears that students on semester and quarter systems may actually be disadvantaged in the ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ area of mathematics achievement as measured by this assessment. There may be other benefits to these alternative timetable systems, but they have not been displayed in this assessment. This problem of lower scores in semester schools was reported in the 1986 B.C. Science Assessment, and results were also published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (Bateson, 1990). NO RESEARCH SUPPORTING BLOCK SCHEDULING, ONLY DATA AVAILABLE SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT IT IS WORSE. STUDENTS HAVE NO MATH FOR HALF THE YEAR, AND COVER LESS MATERIAL \priv\97\07\redarr.txt (not public, but I have it on file) "4. I am interested to hear the teachers' comments in one school district which has just adopted block scheduling and so I ask how it is going before I leave. "The teachers know it isn't working and hate it, but the administration thinks it's great," is the response. The scheduling is so confused that many students who have math in a fall semester won't have it again till the spring semester of the next year. No one is able to cover the amount of content covered in years before." KIDS DO NOT LEARN MATH AS WELL UNDER BLOCK SCHEDULING Passed along from the net: Block Scheduling -- With a Mathematics Perspective http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/bennett1/block_scheduling.htm I am not willing to take the risks that I believe block scheduling offers. The negatives that I have discovered through my research would not allow me to support the change in good conscience. It would not be fair to my students. ... none of [the reported benefits] alter the disturbing fact that, according to the best scientific research currently available, KIDS DO NOT SEEM TO LEARN MATH AS WELL UNDER THIS SYSTEM." BTW, the motherlode of info about BS relains: http://www.jefflindsay.com/Block.shtml @@For ASCD web page forum: http://www.ascd.org/cgi-bin/threads.pl?action=view&msg=0&board=block November 21, 1996 at 12:34:52 Geoffrey Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) Jakarta International School has 680 students in the Middle School alone. We are in our third year of using a flexible block schedule. We are assessing the schedule this year. There is not a single teacher who would return to a 45 minute class period. We have built in a significant amount of planning time for learning community teams (teams of 4). It's a great schedule for some but has drawbacks for elective and exploratory teachers. It's hard to please everyone. @@Pitfall z75\clip\2003\10\blockrev.txt,.htm http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kque0011.htm Block Scheduling Revisited By J. Allen Queen "increasing the number of courses that a student can complete in a four-year period. In the process, educators have increased graduation rates, lowered discipline referrals, and improved dropout rates.10 Moreover, since most students under a block schedule are limited to three or four courses per semester, far greater immersion in each subject is possible. Less time is spent in class changes. At the same time, improved school climate results in a more relaxed atmosphere, with greater student/teacher rapport. In many cases, the schedule change has become a tool for curriculum improvement.11 ..has brought both positive and negative outcomes. The promises and pitfalls of block scheduling surfaced quickly." %%Team Teaching SOCIAL STUDIES AND ENGLISH BLENDED INTO ONE BLOCK \clip\99\05\skyline.txt http://archives.seattletimes.com February 05, 1999 Reforms taking toll on Skyline students by Mike Lindblom Seattle Times Eastside bureau Humanities, a required course combining social studies and English for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, is a two-hour, team-taught block with classes of about 70 students. A single grade in it constitutes a full third of each student's grade-point average.