Monday, March 2, 2009

50% minimum grade policy amended

The PG reports that students who refuse to do work will receive a grade of 0 for that work. Students who make a good faith effort on an assignment will still receive at least a 50%.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09061/952676-100.stm

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr.Roosevelt and Dr.Lippert almost want to make the public believe that teachers were unreasonable in sounding off about what an outrageous policy this was. If this was a ten year old edict, it was akin to a jaywalking law in that not only was it not enacted, it was not even discussed.
Let's call a spade a spade, shall we? At the end of the day, either you made the effort to pass or you didn't. Most teachers will give the benefit of the doubt to the student who has put in a great deal of effort. At the end of the day, the old tried and true way of grading is still the best---and employed everywhere.
Rather than making the district a laughingstock with such a poor policy, some foresight should have gone into decisions. In the aftermath of the construction of the Pittsburgh Promise came giddiness that said all of our students can have "scholarships" to college. Then came the sobering reality that maintaining a 2.0 had to be part of the deal, too. That reality was only reinforced by the idea that many, many kids were not in that category. Let's tell it like it is...instead of pushing kids to do better in class and waving the Promise in front of their noses, the idea to bloat grades made more sense to these folks.
What more do you need to know about the top brass in PPS?

Mark Rauterkus said...

This "social promotion" and "50-percent" grade turnabout, both have links to the idea floated of a 13th Grade Option.

We want the kids to be "promise ready" -- but -- the promise scholarship can turn into a very large cruel joke if a new army of kids from PPS go to college and then flunk out.

Hence, the need for a bridge to an academic challenge year -- a 13th Grade that has rigor through and through.

Students need to write, research, study, think with reason, defend their knowledge -- and so on. They need to be in competitive classes with other serious students who aim to succeed.

Independence, maturity, and scholarship work should be a part of all the high schools. But, until it is -- we could use a bridge between High Schools and college with the 13th Grade Option to be located at the I.B. Jr./Sr. High.

Questioner said...

I think we would really need more information on whether the typical PPS grad would be prepared for an IB class. Would the 13th year be aimed at the average PPS grad, below average, those w/ a 3.0 GPA or what?

Questioner said...

Deciding who has made a good faith effort may be easier said than done when it comes to tests and quizzes.

I remember some quizzes in a 9th grade English class asking 10 very specific fact questions about a book. My child read the book but did not remember the details well and on some quizzes got fewer than 5 questions correct. Does the teacher just bump everyone up to 50% including the student who has not read the book (but doesn't admit that), and gets a question or two correct just by guessing or from being in class when the book was discussed? Those who do not do the work may still get the 50%.

She said...

I'm not sure it makes sense that kids will suddenly be serious about working and studying in a 13th year. If that were true, we could provide those qualities you describe in a 12th (or 11th or...) grade year. The teachers that would suddenly be able to reach kids who hadn't taken school seriously until then...we could just move them down and have them teach in that exciting motivating way while the kids are still in grades 9-12.

What exactly would be different about that 13th year that kids that hadn't been succeeding would now be able to succeed in more rigorous and demanding classes?

Questioner said...

Here's an updated PG article, explaining that a 0-5 scale will now replace the 0-100 scale.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09062/952789-85.stm

So apparently a student who under the old system received a perfect grade on one assignment and refused to do a second assignment and so would have an average of 100/2 = 50 (or F), will now have an average of 5/2 = 2.5 (or C). In other words, the same grade as under the 50% minimum policy which would have been 150/2 = 7.5. It seems like the 50% minimum is essentially still in place.

Questioner said...

The 1-5 scale seems to actually set 50%as the minimum score by doing away with the bottom half (0-50) of the traditional grading scale.

Doing the math- student who received 100 on 2 assignments and decided to skip the third:

Traditional = 200/3 = 66.6% Grade D

50% policy = 250/3 = 83.3 Grade B

1-5 scale = 10/3 = 3.3 Grade B


Student who received a 90 on 4 assignments and skips the 5th:

Traditional = 36/5 = 72 Grade C

50% policy = 410/5 = 82 Grade B

1 - 5 scale = 4/5 = 80 Grade B


Student receives a 75 on 5 assignments and skips the 6th:

Traditional= 375/6 = 62.5 Grade D

50% policy = 425/6 = 70.8 Grade borderline C

1 - 5 scale = 17.5/6= 2.9 Grade borderline C

Waht will happen to these students when they go on to college w/ their Promise scholarships thinking that they can skip assignments and still earn passing or even good grades?

Questioner said...

And then there is also the issue of the lack of confidence colleges will have in PPS transcripts when they learn that for example a 2.5 from a Pittsburgh public school means something very different than a 2.5 from other schools.

fixit said...

On the 13th year idea. It would most likely work if the student were sent out of district. A la Kane.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Are typical PPS grads ready for IB classes in a 13th Grade Option?

Well, it would be more prudent to find out if they are able to meet the challenges of an IB class or three -- in a 13th year -- than push them to failure at a college setting.

We are finding out that typical PPS grads are NOT ready for college. So, the Pgh Promise is not going to deliver tuition money as the students can deliver the grades.

I think the IB classes could be a bridge for some from high schools -- in a flux of reform -- to success at college.

Good question. Let's research it.

The 13th Grade would not be "remedial."

The kids with 'special education' needs can stay in school for extra years already.

The offerings/opportunities at CCAC are strong for the below average grads. I don't think that the 13th Grade Option is a replacement for CCAC -- but 13th Grade Option hits a different group of students.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Kids grow up all the time, right. Some need additional chances. Things change. College kids change their majors too. And, a kid that wants to buckle down and get serious who is in the middle of a year at a 'drop out factory' only has so many options and resources.

I think SOME kids will get serious and suddenly be MORE SERIOUS about studies in a 13th grade. Those that have never been serious are not going to graduate, hence they won't aspire to a 13th Grade Option.

We (PPS) does provide some decent qualities in 12th and 11th grade -- of course. Some use them and graduate and are ready for college. Some use them fleetingly and could use a re-fresher.

I agree that IF the 13th Grade Option is a SUCCESS -- then we should REPLICATE it at GRADES 12, 11 and 10 elsewhere. And, to a degree, that is being done. This is more a capacity builder -- and ADDITIONAL option. We grow by ADDITION for some.

Q: What exactly would be different about that 13th year that kids that hadn't been succeeding would now be able to succeed in more rigorous and demanding classes?

The kid's maturity. The carrot of the Pgh Promise Scholarship money. Kids might fall short in Pgh Promise -- say graduate with 2.9 and need a 3.0. So, an the IB 13th Grade Option could make the kid prove self up to the task and be eligible to get the $10,000 per year for 4 years.

Other significant changes:
- A change of venue,
-- a new cadre of classmates,
--- a new set priorities with an "OPTIONAL enrollment."

Mark Rauterkus said...

The lack of confidence by colleges can be cleansed by high test scores, in part.

And, it could be done by a valid prep year.

West Point, the US Military Academy, uses a PREP YEAR of its own doing, for a couple hundred students before they are admitted to the main academy. Some kids don't have the same opportunities as other kids -- in part -- because of the schools they happen to attend. So, West Point makes sure that they are up to speed with a PREP YEAR -- a 13th Grade Option.

It is a good insurance policy, so to speak. For the same reasons it could work for PPS students/families as they embark to higher education challenges elsewhere.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Kane?

What do you mean?

Kane Hospital?

Questioner said...

Kane would be the Schenley ballplayer who went on to a prep school.

Mark we will pull together 13th yr comments for a new topic and separate out from the minimum grading policy.

cookie said...

Unbelievable! Changing the grading scale again. No wonder our graduates can't make it at colleges and universities. They have been given A's and B's without really "working " for them. Once again, just the minimum will do. Roosevelt wants to attract more students to the PPS. I highly doubt that this is the way. What parent is going to send their child to a city school when the District can't even make up it's mind on a grading scale? I am sure that my teacher friends who are still working are jumping up and down over this latest gaffe. Once again, changes were made without input from the people who are in the trenches.....the teacher. Oh well, place this change along side of the Pgh Promise for stupidity.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Don't fork discussions. That's a way to kill input.

The grading policy is a step child of the district we are facing in the present. In an ideal world -- this is a non-issue. Right?

We need to move from what's what now to where we want the district to be.

Will the 50% grade policy be part of the Sci-Tech School? U-Prep? CAPA? I.B.?

What is necessary in Peabody might not fit elsewhere. ??

Mark Rauterkus said...

Dozens of kids beyond the hooper, Kane, go to prep schools, I'm finding.

Pitt's D.Blair, #45, has a younger brother who plays football -- and he might be at a prep school too.

E.T. of Brashear, reciever/football, signed with Pitt's team for fall of 2009 from a Prep school at present.

Then #25 of Pitt, Central PA HS, prep school year, going Pro this draft season (not PPS Grad). Shady McCoy.

But, the aim isn't to talk about individual kids -- for sure. The concept.

Some seem to have the impression that the IB classes are way beyond what athletes can handle. Humm. That's a 'crap trap' that is hard to navigate around. I don't hold that to be a valid objection, but it may need to be addressed with better PC verbage than this little blog comment can muster today.

Questioner said...

It sounds like the 1-5 (which is essentially 50%) scale will apply everywhere.

Questioner said...

Some students/athletes/etc can handle IB classes and some probably cannot. It would be great to hear from some teachers who have taught both IB and nonIB re: whether the average PPS grad could handle IB classes. IB classes seem to be at the level of a freshman class at a strong college, and we know that a good portion of PPS grads need remedial classes before they are ready for regular classes at less selective colleges.

Anonymous said...

Mark, all of your examples of prep school kids were of "student"-athletes. Would your 5th year of high school allow them to play sports? I doubt that would fly with the PIAA.

Jeff said...

I see two major problems that are being addressed from a bit of a narrow perspective. I think taking a step back to try to understand the big picture - what the goal of a school is - would be first to address.

The ultimate goal for an educational system in a democratic society is to form individuals into active participants able to make informed decisions about the world around them.

With the perspective set to the larger scale, now I can explain myself more clearly. We have steadily increased the number of Americans with some form of higher education. The dilemma is that as a nation with a great history of innovation and skilled labor forces, I feel that we have neglected in educating of the latter.

This has resulted in flooding the labor market with people holding higher education degrees and creating a vacuum when it comes to skilled laborers; never mind the problems brought on such as degree and credential inflation.

So, what does all of this have to do with PPS' idea of a 50% minimum grade policy? A lot. Our educational system needs to move away from being a number-based, statistics-savvy system to a more task and goal oriented system. 50% is an arbitrary number, as is the vague definition of an "honest effort". Give the student a task to complete, 100 percent, that is directly aligned with the minimum state-directed criteria and you have a win-win situation.

The schools have a valid measure of the student's ability. The student has a sense of accomplishment after completing just one goal to a level of 100%.

By shifting the educational paradigm back to the big picture - educating people to be independent thinkers - it seems far easier and more rational to use tasks for students to complete rather than statistics. Additionally, the student knows exactly what is expected of him or her - along with the consequences of not performing the tasks. Valuable lessons for beyond the classroom.

Questioner said...

Interesting approach, but with so many new/different/revised programs and questions remaining about which students/programs will be in which buildings it seems that taking on the basic educational paradigm would need to be a goal for the future.

Also do we just want to align w/ the MINIMUM state directed criteria? What about students who are already achieving above that level when they walk in the door? And how would adjustments align w/ the plan for a uniform curriculum?

She said...

I know that there are CAS kids who struggle and get bad grades (often for the first time ever) in their IB courses. That's why IB parents were mad last year when kids were forced to take full IB when they hadn't planned to. If -insert class type here- isn't your strong suit and you're thrown into what is nearly (or sometimes equal to) college paced work, it's a recipe for failure.

I do know that kids who come out of IB with the diploma often find that their freshman year is easier than their senior year.

Which is why, again, I don't think this is a great idea as a bridge. It's not the idea of a bridge/13th year that's bad, it's trying to shoehorn it into a program that wasn't meant to be used that way and isn't set up to support that.

Remember John Thompson's idea of an AP High School? That might have been the place -- even if kids only took 2 classes in their bridge year, they could have learned better study habits, better writing skills, etc. Those courses are designed to stand alone unlike the IB program concept, which is more global (pun not intended, though, hey, it works.)

She said...

Jeff:

I really liked what you said here By shifting the educational paradigm back to the big picture - educating people to be independent thinkers - it seems far easier and more rational to use tasks for students to complete rather than statistics. Additionally, the student knows exactly what is expected of him or her - along with the consequences of not performing the tasks. Valuable lessons for beyond the classroom.

Anonymous said...

First off, to Mark...I am not sure what your agenda is, but get off of it. You are looking to address a relative few people with an idea that provides negligible benefits, at best. The entire district is at a crossroads, "blessed" with an administration that seeks to squelch dissent, trumpet issues which are ancillary to the basic idea that kids NEED to learn and push "news" via a strong public relations presence.
Please....get off of the soap box.
To Questioner, thanks for doing the math. I am at a loss to determine how this district is doing dissenting teachers a favor. 50% was thrown out and a similar plan was enacted in its stead. Someone somewhere is laughing about this---it requires teachers to do the math to understand that you are STILL giving kids grades instead of having them earn it.

To Jeff, let me take issue with a number of your comments.
"The ultimate goal for an educational system in a democratic society is to form individuals into active participants able to make informed decisions about the world around them."
I would tend to agree with your summation if PPS were following in that mold. Certainly, canned curriculum is stimulating regurgitation of the values of ivory tower folks, and nothing more. We are stimulating the parroting of information, and the district has left selection of which information is important to outside entities. Take a look at the senior and junior English curriculum, and get back to me.

"This has resulted in flooding the labor market with people holding higher education degrees and creating a vacuum when it comes to skilled laborers; never mind the problems brought on such as degree and credential inflation."

Perhaps if the district hadn't opted to close South and replace it with little, your comment would have merit. Certainly, the world needs blue collar personnel as much as white collar, and just as certainly, your idea of "flooding" is cyclical. True, not every child is destined to be a valedictorian, but there is general acceptance where effort is concerned. You skirt the issue quite nicely with your rant and substitute kids who don't see the need for a Biology class with the real types of students we are talking about in everyday class---the kids who don't see the need for school. You give too much credit to students in this regard. You grant them a pass and mistake their apathy with an idea of being somehow misdirected. Sorry, but I am not buying.

"Our educational system needs to move away from being a number-based, statistics-savvy system to a more task and goal oriented system. 50% is an arbitrary number, as is the vague definition of an "honest effort". Give the student a task to complete, 100 percent, that is directly aligned with the minimum state-directed criteria and you have a win-win situation."

Pure baloney. I worked in industry before becoming a teacher and can tell you that this type of apologist thinking may work when employed at a fast food joint, but will never work in the real world. Again, you seek to excuse the idea of giving away grades and bloating averages. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and any endeavor on a professional level requires focus and a work ethic for true achievement.

I do agree that the district is too obsessed with data. I do agree that we have tested our kids to death, so much so that they cannot discern which tests are "real" and which are not. I am the type of student who did not test well. I am the type of student that was a late bloomer. And yet, I am thankful that I was able to find my own path and that no one pigeonholed me.

"By shifting the educational paradigm back to the big picture - educating people to be independent thinkers - it seems far easier and more rational to use tasks for students to complete rather than statistics. Additionally, the student knows exactly what is expected of him or her - along with the consequences of not performing the tasks. Valuable lessons for beyond the classroom."

Again, your commentary would have weight were it not coming in a district that has moved in direct opposite of the independent thought you speak of. So the emphasis is on student based inquiry. So the new buzz words are 'accountable talk'. This has failed in NYC, in Chicago, and in other urban school districts. And when the ordinary Joe takes a look at what students are being forced to read as part of curriculum in the schools, it becomes obvious as to why. Again Jeff, tell me all about independent thought while you hold copies of curricula in your hands, and then maybe we will get somewhere.

You present a perfect world scenario for the parent in this regard. Sadly, most of us know better. The grading policy has not been enacted and "revised" to stimulate anything but higher grades and public relations opportunities. Tell it like it is.

Anonymous said...

I would add to Jeff, his fallacy that states: "50% is an arbitrary number, as is the vague definition of an "honest effort". Give the student a task to complete, 100 percent, that is directly aligned with the minimum state-directed criteria and you have a win-win situation" is especially questionable in that 50% is NOT arbitrary but rather, universally accepted in academia. Additionally, he is magnanimous in stating that PA's minimum state criteria is acceptable when it does not correspond with what Ohio calls "acceptable", or NY, MD, MI, etc.
A "basic" student here may be called "proficient" there.
Alas, he has shot his own argument in the foot.

Questioner said...

We should try to separate evaluation of Jeff's idea of task-based learning from criticism about the PPS's ability or willingness to implement this type of system.

She said...

Uhh, yeah, I surely didn't read Jeff as saying that what he described was what we had here.

I'm really thoroughly sick, in fact, of people telling us about all the ways other posters are mistaken or don't know how bad things are. We get it. We're here reading this blog -- I don't think anyone who thinks the district is in good shape is reading here!

We all seem quite aware of the main problems in this district. We all seem to agree that they need to be attacked differently than they are currently.

I'd much rather read solutions, goals or game plans here.

Anonymous said...

She said, I'll read your commentary as saying, you don't want to read about what life in the trenches is like. You get it. You don't like or need the message anymore. Spare you the gory details. Just give you the solutions.
Problem is, the ultimate solutions lie with you. We have no union, we have no voice. There is a reason things are as they are, and it's not the teachers.
Your message is clear. The weather will be turning soon. I'll leave the solutions to you.

She said...

Every one of us has a voice. Teacher or parent or whatever.

Feel free to give "gory details" -- what I don't like is the sense that anyone else who posts on here is subject to a personal upbraiding about their stupidity.

Telling us about your problems at school, with schools is how we all know what's going on out there. Telling someone else that their vision of what a good education might look like is not what we have here -- we've got that -- doesn't include them in the conversation nor does it give any sense of how you want things to be better.

If I recall, someone finally did post 11th and 12th grade reading lists at least and when that happened...all the complaining about how awful they were sort of stopped.

Please, feel free to post them again and even better? Post what your ideal lists would look like.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Q: ... prep school kids were of "student"-athletes. Would your 5th year of high school allow them to play sports? I doubt that would fly with the PIAA.

A: The 5th year athletes -- or those in the 13th Grade Option -- would NOT be eligible for PIAA sports teams. They would NOT be in high school and would NOT be on the regular high school teams.

These students could play AAU Basketball, swim with USA Swimming, do club sports, etc. Curling, whatever... (giggle)

If there are a few within this program, there could be a need to make teams / sports and do more than run the marathon and lift weights in a gym, etc. But, they'd be outside the regular scope of city-league championships.

All-star games, post-season Dapper Dan, etc. would be constructed -- on private time, private money, from the club sport realm. There are some teams that would schedule games -- with other prep schools, exhibitions, etc.

solutionsRus said...

Ana 9:58

I assume that you are a teacher and I would suspect an effective one that cares as you are commenting on and reading this blog. But to claim that "There is a reason things are as they are, and it's not the teachers" is only partly true. The statement should read, "There is a reason that things are like they are and ineffective teachers are a part of the problem."

We cannot put our heads in the sand here. Yes, there are wonderful, hardworking teachers that deserve all of the praise and support (monetarily and otherwise) that we can give. Then there are those that serve no one through their ineffective teaching practices (eg the librarian that showed Disney movies daily despite parent protests). We have to be honest if we are going to solve this gargantuan problem. Great teachers...rise up and take your profession back! (I'm being facetious, the problem needs to be attacked from all stakeholders).

Questioner said...

Another issue w/ the 1-5 scale is that students who would not have the 2.5 average needed to qualify for IB and some other magnet programs will now have the necessary average. So, a given performance will now bring a higher average. This may be intentional but the question is, are you doing these students any favors? Presumably the 2.5 requirement was set for a reason. Students will continue to benefit from the change to 1-5 once they get into the magnet program, but since they were at the borderline of qualifying to begin with the change may just mean that they receive D's instead of E's (and make the classes less effective for other students in the class).

fixit said...

If you have an 11th grader this year, chances are she/he has been busy selecting classes for next year's schedule or will be busy doing so soon. I knew 2009 graduates would be the last class able to have a short schedule as long as credit requirements were met. I warned my 11th grader of it, but she either didn't believe me (REMEMBER-PARENTS KNOW NOTHING) or thought I had it wrong. She was hoping to skip first period next year. Still, she is not slacking and picked classes that will have her working hard in her final year. Could this "full schedule" senior year be the in-house alternative to 13th year?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Attending classes (even in first period) while in 12th grade does not equal nor make an alternative to a 13th Grade Option.

Anonymous said...

She said, a little correction to what I have to consider blather. You talk about the curricula that was posted for senior and junior English and state that it ended the whining. You are sorely mistaken as to why. Let's get this straight--we have dropped books by authors such as Steinbeck, Hemingway, various Shakespeare in favor of Wideman, August Wilson (not one, but three plays), Zora Neale Hurston and White.
You're right. The silence was deafening, because anyone who took the time to investigate those books (as you obviously did not do) would understand the apologist, bleeding heart approach that has been undertaken.
Please...you embarrass yourself with such commentary.
The curriculum should be balanced for all types of students. It should not seek to settle some score, be politically correct or apologetic. As stated by Jeff and others, it should serve to inspire individual thinking and creativity.
That's not the case here.
To solutionsRus, you provide more character attacks based upon your perceptions.Let me provide you with mine: when I am looking at an under-achieving, apathetic parent, I will invariably be touching base with the same type of parent. You wish to place ratios on things and let me respond in kind. Half of the parents I deal with are inept as parents. These types of parents have other priorities before their kids. These types of parents have enabled the schools to devolve as they have.
It's too bad parents here cannot walk a mile in the shoes of teachers--and not at Camp Wonderful types of schools (those schools have teachers with administrative pressures, but not like the pressures teachers have from all sides in comprehensive schools.)

Anonymous said...

Let me re-word: when I am looking at an under-achieving, apathetic STUDENT....

fixit said...

Mark-I agree a full schedule the senior year does not equal a 13th year, but the full schedule is a more immediate stab at improvement. Your idea of 13th year might benefit kids in the future, but can't help the one I will have graduating next year. The wheels do turn slowly and the PDE might have something to say.

**Parents of 11th graders--pay attention to staffing for next year. A full schedule for your kid should equate to staffing to support a full schedule.

Anonymous said:

The discussion of the literature selections is not over. I strongly agree with you we are overboard slanting selections to one category of student.

The poster mentioning 11th and 12th grade selections seeing the light of day does not address the other grades.

I had some middle school boys in the car yesterday and listened to their talk on Communications reading and assignments. The slant is not lost on them. One of mixed descent noted the first story from the textbook for the year focused on a Mexican family. He calls all the other stories from the book, and the novels for this year, "feel bad books." These kids really do "get it" and have had their share of guilt by the end of 6th grade.

Perhaps the final report period will offer some diversity.

What was that you said...

Anon 7:53

I really don't think that a blog's comments are the place for discussing the personalities of other posters, but I admit it, you've gotten me to say this:

I am very sorry that you teach in our schools. Your unending complaints with no solutions in sight tire me out. I can only imagine the effect it has on your students.

Also, please do not assume that everyone you talk to here has not seen the schools you are talking about. There are some horrifyingly uneducational, unpleasant places in this district and it's not solely the fault of any one group -- teachers, students, parents, administrators. But, at least the first and last of those groups need to take some responsibility -- they're the ones paid to be there and paid to provide something better. However poor that pay is in comparison to the work required.

Norman Dale said...

Anon/What was that you said at 9:08...maybe you should take your own advice and not makes assumptive statements. I'll corroborate what I've read here. In fact, I'll tell you that I was "turned onto" this site but a number of fellow teachers from different schools while at an in-service. So the comments I've read here really hit home, and how. Most of us look at Pure Reform as an outlet, and I'd doubt that any teacher would vent to his or her students.
Your comments were below the belt, to say the least.

Questioner said...

While there may be disagreements it is definitely good to have the voices of teachers on this blog, since it seems that many teachers do not feel comfortable/safe speaking out in other settings.

She said...

Norman Dale --

Corroborate what? That everyone posting here thinks there need to be changes? Agree that there are some schools that are sinking, sinking, sinking?

What I don't understand is the anger directed at the people who are posting here. It seems the only acceptable comments here are angry ones about stupid parents and "sheltered" parents. If a poster dares have an opinion about anything else, the whole ivory tower/you must be out of touch/in a good school/just a lunatic stuff rolls out in response.

Don't you get that there are parents reading here who can either be moved to action or not? That they can see teachers as allies in their attempts to get change or they can see them as the enemy as well?

Just on this page from a few comments:
Please....get off of the soap box.
Pure baloney.
what I have to consider blather.

Why is it that when parents ask for your ideas, solutions, plans, changes we get insults? Do you not get that we'd try to get them implemented? You keep telling us that you have no union and that we're it...

I know a lot of teachers I'd go to the mat for -- but if all I knew of teachers was what I read here? (And not from all of them, I'd stress.)

As far as I know the point is to work together, even if we don't agree on everything, to get change.

solutionsRus said...

Dear anon 7:53, I'm not sure whose character you believe that I was attacking. I am simply making an indisputable statement...that there are woefully inadequate teachers working in our public schools (as well as wonderfully talented and dedicated teachers inspiring our children). How this is a character assassination, I don't understand. As I have stated, all aspects of our public school system are failing too many of our students, and that includes administration and parents. No one is giving anyone a free pass.

I, too, am dismayed at some of the unproductive anger in some posts. Frustration is certainly understandable, but attacking each other serves no purpose except to further divide us and make us unable to fight the good fight for quality education for all.

fixit said...

Every teacher is not a great teacher EVERY DAY. Some days even great teachers are adequate teachers. Some teachers have lost it and should probably move into administrative positions. Haha.

More and more I find myself surprised at how teachers don't let frustrations get in the ways of doing their jobs. I also find myself constantly at the ready to jump to defend a teacher. I find it hard to believe that the only good ideas come from Bellefield.
Are we sure some changes are not done just for the sake of saying a change was made?

Anonymous said...

I think inspiration is a huge part of the academic process. I truly believe good teachers inspire their kids. But you know, I believe that in terms of hope--good students inspire their teachers, too. They provide the impetus for staying in "the business" when everything on the periphery seems to be so out of kilter. To me at least, this is the reason good teachers don't where their hearts--or stress issues--on their sleeves.

Anonymous said...

Do you realize that many seniors actually have enough credits to graduate (except senior English and PE) after their junior year? Some already take an extra year of PE in their junior year (against policy of course) to eliminate that their senior year. And many of them take "fluff" courses senior year, not higher academic courses,to fill their schedule. Many get a "work" release to get out of school early and this is not fully supervised. So for many, senior year is a "blow-off." And since a large number of electives have been eliminated, choices are slim to none. For many, senior year is a holding tank before having to move into the real world.

Students could actually graduate in 3 years if scheduling were done correctly. But, in reality, school is a "babysitting" place, not an academic institution.

parent'o'3 said...

You have to have four years of math, too, though that's still a short schedule.

Rather than shorten to three years I'd rather see kids offered useful and/or interesting and/or enriching classes that will either make them more successful adults or make sure they have skills in the job they're aiming toward.