According to The Buffalo News, summer school has been replaced by take-home worksheets this year for about 17,000 city school elementary students (kindergarten-6th grade).

The students were expected to complete the 70-page packet, which was mailed home, over the summer and return their work at the beginning of this school year in September.

Furthermore, according to The Buffalo News, the district proposed an incentive program for students who did return their packets....but no such program was ever finalized.  There is no plan in place identifying who would correct the 17,000 packets once returned.  District officials say correcting that many packets would be a burden on classroom teachers, so central office staff would most likely be chosen to correct the packets.

Getting the packets back to see results is another problem.  Parents who want the packets returned CAN have the packets back, but, according to district officials, there's no plan to return the packets as a standard practice. In other words, a parent would have to request the packets back.

An additional concern, according to The Buffalo News, is the difficulty level of the questions and content within the packets. Many parents say the material is ridiculously easy. An example, according to The News, has one sheet in the packet showing pictures of different body parts and asking students to choose the correct word for that body part (like a nose, etc.). Some parents who have more than one child discovered the material is the same for students in different grades.

There's a ton of information regarding the decision to cancel summer school this year that is ALARMING and should be known and exposed to the public, and I commend The Buffalo News for reporting it.  YOU -- especially if you're African-American and have young children -- NEED TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE in this morning's paper. FRONT PAGE!  Wow!

The underlying message and idea that the Buffalo School District experimented with and used about 17,000 city school elementary students as Guinea pigs for an entire summer to save millions of dollars and "see how an idea would work" is detestable to me and VERY DISTURBING!

Here's a link to the article in today's paper.  What do you think?