FIXES THAT FAIL
In a fixes that fail scenario, a problem symptom presents (e.g., high school seniors not graduating within four years). The obvious course of action is to implement a solution that alleviates a symptom (e.g., credit recovery). The solution fails to address a root cause of the problem (e.g., authentic content and skill mastery), and eventually the problem symptom returns or worsens.
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Problem of Practice No. 1 looks at how a quick fix like credit recovery in the senior year of high school is often a superficial intervention. In the visual below, one student is on track to graduate from high school (green band), the other student is almost on track (yellow band). The student who starts out on track (green) has two major transitions, one between the second and third semester to a higher performance category, the other between the 5th and 6th semester to a lower performance category. The almost on track student has five different transitions indicative of a much more volatile and less consistent trajectory. Both earn a Regents Diploma, but their academic histories are prologue to future post secondary outcomes.
The circle represents a decision on the part of the school to apply a quick fix, credit recovery, the second semester senior year. This moves the almost on track student into a higher performance category, the green band.
In the systems thinking model below, we invite you to explore the implications of quick fixes (such as the one mentioned above) for an entire system (in this case, a high school).