Brad Tradonsky's A4

Brad Tradonsky's A4 - Tradonsky 1 Bradley Tradonsky Dr...

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Tradonsky 1 Bradley Tradonsky Dr. Tomkins Writing 140 April 8 th 2012 Why the LAUSD Should Repeal Service-Learning In 2007 as school districts throughout America were experiencing gentle increases in their respective graduation rates, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) matriculated a mere 40.6% of its students—exhibiting the second worst graduation rate in the nation. Perhaps non-coincidentally 2007 was also the first year Los Angeles Unified implemented its service-based learning graduation requirement. The requirement attempted to ensure that “[community service was] integrated into the core curriculum”, as opposed to merely being an “add on” ( Wong). The LAUSD’s desire to guarantee that its graduates are committed to serving their community is honorable, but this policy does the exact opposite of that: by making community service mandatory LA Unified has not only made it harder for students to graduate, by giving them another task that must be fulfilled, but has also done a disservice to the general spirit of volunteerism: there is a plethora of evidence suggesting that community service requirements turn students off to potentially volunteering in the future as opposed to inspiring them to become more socially involved. The Los Angeles Unified School District should repeal its service- learning graduation requirement because, although on the surface the requirement appears to enhance students’ educational experience on a deeper level it not only burdens students with an additional, unnecessary, graduation requirement but also—as any
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2 community service requirement—benefits the community only in the short run and essentially harms the community in the long run. The LAUSD’s Service-Learning requirement was approved in March of 1999 by the Board of Education with plans to be implemented eight years later in 2007. According to Los Angeles Unified the policy was enacted “in order to promote academic excellence, personal and social development, civic responsibility, and community welfare…[and] provide students with at least one high quality service-learning experience prior to high school graduation”(Wong). The Service-Learning requirement obliges high-school students to complete at least one “service learning experience” prior to graduation. The experience must meet the needs of the community, enhance student’s academic curriculum, be aligned with state standards, foster civic responsibility, and provide structured time for student reflection(LAUSD). The idea behind Service- Learning is that the volunteerism in which the students are participating ties directly back into their classroom experience; by being creative the LAUSD believes that they can provide their students with an invaluable learning opportunity while simultaneously benefitting the local community. A good example of this, provided in the LAUSD Service
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Brad Tradonsky's A4 - Tradonsky 1 Bradley Tradonsky Dr...

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