Difficulties With Compass Learning
March 27, 2017
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Compass Learning is a website that students use as a tool to help build skills in Math and Language Arts areas. Compass Learning is also an online platform that interacts with the NWEA MAP assessment. It’s meant to give instruction to students at their own level. We feel like Compass Learning is a waste of our time, is immature, and inappropriate for our grade level, and is not supported by many of the team teachers.
There are two different perspectives on whether the Language Arts teachers had input on having Compass Learning in their classrooms. The teacher’s are saying that they didn’t get any input on having Compass Learning incorporated into their classrooms, while the Assistant Principal, Chris Stairs, is saying that the teachers had a say in whether Compass Learning should be in 8th grade classrooms or not. Some of their input wasn’t taken, but they still had a say in it.
“We got support for the decision, and there’s always different decisions and different perspectives on how this is going to impact teachers classrooms, and how they are going to fit it in there. Ultimately, with the admin, we did take input from staff and different people had different perspectives and some of them were like yeah lets try this, lets go, lets go, and some people were like this is going to mess up what I am going to do in class,” said Stairs.
“The rumor is that we as the department had some say in it, but I don’t think so. I believe that it was the administration last year that really pushed it through,” said Erin Kelley, Language Arts teacher on team Phoenix. She went on to say that if it was true that there were multiple options to pick from, at least some teachers weren’t aware of the different options available. “This is what I was told we were doing,” said Kelley. “I think this was completely administration that pushed it through last year.”
Many of our students have said they dread Compass Learning and have mentioned many complaints to the teachers and yet the teachers/administration have not taken any actions. The students are saying they find Compass Learning a waste of their time and not a single student we could find likes it, while the assistant principal is saying some kids like it.
“Some kids like it, some kids dread it,” said Stairs. “Some kids love it and we found out that the majority of students don’t like Compass Learning.”
“I think it is a very ineffective use of our time because we use a lot of class time and at home time which we could be using to learn, but It’s not actually Compass Learning because you don’t really learn anything like theres a bunch of tests. And then if you do bad on the test, the folder disappears and you can’t retake the test. So I feel like we need to get rid of Compass Learning. I know that it helps out with points in scores that you get, but I think normal learning helps with that more. Its an hour a week for math and then in Language Arts we have to do it, too. We have made suggestions in math that we should probably stop. They just bring it back to the MAP score and how it supposedly helps our MAP scores go up. I feel like we could be using our time better. Maybe get rid of Compass Learning, and then replace it with more effective uses of time,” said Ethan Boehle, a student on team Phoenix.
“I don’t like Compass Learning because it’s a hassle and it’s kind of annoying how I do homework, but I do think that people overreact and it isn’t as bad as it is. I wish we didn’t have to do it because I haven’t seen it helping me with my MAP test. I think we need to find another program that better teaches stuff that are actually going to help us on MAP test because MAP testing is so unique and the questions are very hard to address, so we need to be focusing on more things like that and it’s kind of general. I do not know any students that like Compass Learning. Instead of Compass Learning, wouldn’t be something in the real world you can actually use. If they taught us about how to buy a house or do taxes that would be way more us than something that’s going to help you on the test. I spent probably about 2 hours for a week,” said Rhys Fernando, a student on team Falcon.
With the students that have been interviewed, they had said that they take a lot of time doing Compass Learning and having 1 or more hours doing it, they complain that they can’t spend a lot of time doing it because of sports or other homework. Our school policy states that we are only supposed to have 10 minutes of homework per class, per night. Even though teachers or staff might say they don’t know this, many kids have mentioned it to their teachers many times and yet the staff has not been doing anything about it. Even though Compass Learning says it only takes this amount of time to do one lesson, students say otherwise.
A lot of the students are saying that the videos on the lessons are very inappropriate for their age, and are not helping their test scores go up at the end of every lesson. Videos that are shown are cartoon characters explaining information to students.
We feel like Compass Learning is very ineffective and a waste of our time. Compass Learning is inappropriate for our age group, it takes us a lot of time, there hasn’t been any evidence of our test scores going up and there has been tons of confusion between the students, the teachers and the administration. We want Compass Learning to be removed because there hasn’t been good results to having Compass Learning.