Overheard and reported by an Acton Academy parent:
Two cute, young, fun-looking traditional teachers were in front of me in the grocery store check-out line, talking about how busy the end of year was and lamenting the torture of standardized tests.
Then one said: “Oh my god. I didn’t even read their final research papers. I just skimmed over them. If they had as much as an intro and summary, it was good enough for me.”
Then they both laughed. Such an injustice to the young people who had worked hard.
At Acton Academy, every writing challenged is peer reviewed. In most cases with a detailed critique; in many cases, posted on the wall for all to see.
Here’s the point. Of course everyone would prefer having a warm, caring English teacher, who nurtures each student; writes like Hemingway and could offer Tolstoy a helpful literary critique. But that’s not reality.
The truth is, Acton’s transparency and peer critiques offer far more coaching and motivation than in any traditional model, with a far lower likelihood of the outright fraud that no one even bothered to read your thesis before assigning an arbitrary letter grade.