Well said. I think you must have been on my campus when AVID was introduced cause you described it and the outcomes to a T. Not to mention it really tries to force kids into a college mindset that would be better off in a trade but are made to feel like failures if they don't go to college to do something they hate.
Not going to college doesn't mean you are a failure at life. (How many kids go in debt to drop out or get a degree in a field that means nothing while their peers get a job making 20 or 30 bucks an hour for a few years and then own their own freaking business)! A kid that goes into a trade could make 200k in the 4 years their friend takes out 120k in loans! That's as 320k difference in 4 years. Yet we tell kids in those AVID programs the only way to be anything is to go to college.
Warning: anti-AVID rant incoming.
AVID is an organization ostensibly devoted entirely to improving college attendance in first-generation college goers. That's a noble goal.
What AVID morphs into, in MANY schools, is the monster which states/pushes the ideal of "If you don't do AVID, you won't go to college" (heard directly from an AVID coordinator at my last campus). Or "You have to take AVID to learn how to be college ready" (heard by my wife last week at her campus). Or, my personal favorite, "You won't graduate without AVID" - heard at my AVID demonstration campus feeder middle school last semester.
Yes, there are benefits to the program. However, as implemented, very few people do what the national level says they should do. AVID should SUPPLEMENT the core curriculum and the elective curriculum, yet it takes on a life of its own.
For example, kids fail AVID because they don't keep a three ring binder with detailed correctly formatted Cornell notes in binders with tabs. I've seen it happen at my campus and others. How is this helping kids get ready for college? Yes, taking notes is important - but failing a kid for the six weeks because they don't have a particular binder sorted a particular way turned in on a particular day?
This says nothing of the fact that many AVID classes I'm aware of treat it as study hall, dumping ground, or movie time. The teachers and students don't actually DO what they should be doing. Binder checks are supposed to be weekly, but if the AVID teacher is lazy or distracted, then the problem snowballs - and without assistance, it doesn't get fixed. The kids suffer.
That being said, I've taught at an AVID school now for over a decade. I'm consistently bombarded with "Cornell Notes!" and "WICOR Strategies!" in faculty meetings.
Every time I ask the AVID coordinator at my campus how it benefits my class musically (ie: which TEK objective it fulfills) to stop music instruction, pull out pen and paper, and then write a short answer response to a prompt such as "What do you think about the text of the song you're singing?" I'm basically told "This is a campus initiative, and you need to make sure you're incorporating writing into your classroom. As in, no justification, just do it.
They also insist that a "text rich environment" does NOT include musical text (print music) - it must be printed English and printed words (which doesn't help my ELLs at all). Basically - I should be finding and copying articles and we should be holding discussion questions on them.
If you think this is beneficial to making 1s at contest or preparing kids for a collegiate audition, more power to you. However, I can see FEW benefits to the core curriculum from it, but also consider these last points.
There have been four scientific studies done on students in an AVID program vs. similar students not in an AVID program and their success in college. There was no significant statistical difference between AVID and non-AVID student success. There has been no documented, studied link to improved graduation rates in AVID campuses.
Finally, AVID is also designed to be targeted towards B and C students - it ignores the D and F students who really need the assistance, and equally ignores those students who are already successful on their own. The issue, though, is that it's the A and B students' parents who hear "AVID helps you go to college" and those are the kids who get in the program.
It's all a shell game.
So, I'm kinda sick of seeing this stuff on here. There's a lot of solid educational theory that it seems like a lot of band directors think is "just stupid nonsense that administrators want to see," so they'll do all of the right stuff the second they're being observed but the rest of the time it's back to their same old routine they've been doing for 30 years.
Now, granted, I don't teach at an AVID school, but I have been to and observed several schools that use AVID.
For one, it seems to get the greatest benefit in low SES areas. I've seen schools that should be off the rails as far as student engagement and management (based on indicators like SES) that have students that are really taking the initiative to be respectful and attentive to their teachers, and performing at a high level.
The main thing though, is implementation. It is not, as you say, trying to shove your round peg into a square hole, unless it is being implemented incorrectly. No one in education would buy into a system that didn't flex to the needs of the student population. I know the STAAR test doesn't, but that's run by politicians, not educators. It makes a difference.
Finally, good teaching is good teaching. It doesn't matter if you're teaching Calculus or Underwater Basket Weaving. Does every single educational strategy apply to every single class? Absolutely not. But some do, including your band class. The best band directors are out there learning how to be BETTER TEACHERS, which transcends subject matter. Is it possible you could get out of your own way and learn something from AVID rather than complaining?
The the OP: Could it hurt? Outside of losing some personal time, is it possible you could learn something you didn't know, and thereby serve your students in your band better? If so, then it's worth it.
99% of what AVID "experts" say in my experience is "Here's how you can fit your round peg classroom into our square hole, but we're not changing the hole for you in any way. You have to adapt your class."
For those of you on AVID campuses, is it worth attending their summer institute in order to better understand it? Would there be information that would better explain methods of implementation in the band class?
I'm not looking for reasons why AVID is bad. I have my opinions. Our district adopted it recently and it is clearly going to stay. It is being embraced on all secondary campuses and will be fully implemented for grades 6-12 next year. Just wondering if I'd actually get anything out of attending the summer institute. Thanks!