It's hard to believe frites cost $15 or $22, or maybe I misread?
Jay and his "team" lost all credibility with me when he approved ( You don't get a pass from me by attributing it to "a series of principals"!) the adding of 50 points to all students' grades (Except of course to those who have worked hard to make a "B", for instance, but lack a point or two! Wonder why they don't get the fifty?). This is all for one reason: to increase graduation rates and give Metro a bragging right about how much they have gone up!
Others have stated clearly here his manner of operation, which is shameful. I really don't see how many Metro teachers can survive all that they must endure each day from their own administration as well as a layer of other central office administrators, from Jay on down, all often giving different signals. These are real professional people who cannot know for sure what may or may not be a factor in their evaluations and what may or may not be a factor in whether they are hired for another year. Younger ones can surely get out. Older ones, who need another few years in order to retire, are more-or-less stuck and I pity them.
"PIth" has it EXACTLY right. We cannot solve a problem if we will not admit we have it. Of course, Dr. Register and even the State of Tennessee officials will use No Child Left Behind as an excuse. I say that somewhere, someone must draw a line in the concrete and stick with it! I am retired after 42 years in the classroom and I know that students will, indeed, rise to the occasion and know that most students will, if they don't, accept a failing grade if given fairly. If students and parents know what it is expected to achieve a certain grade, if the expectations are grade level appropriate, if teachers offer all kinds of assistance as they are able, and if grades are given fairly and according to the standards explained and identified early on, then I have found that there are usually few problems. I can't understand the fear, the timidity,and the subterfuge that we see today in our public school systems. I am so sorry for young teachers, in particular, who are bullied and intimidated and forced to sign on to grading practices that they know are wrong. And the fact that we are learning about all of this today tells me that indeed it is widespread and it is blatant! There is no major effort to actually "cover up ", as these administrators once did, their deeds of this type.
Another thing about all of this that bothers me greatly is that this same memo from the principal of Thurgood Marshall forbade giving grades over 100. As a teacher, if I had been forced to give a 50 to a student who had a zero, then I would have given the same number of points to every other student! And why not? Those who made above 70, in particular, had obviously done some work. Why should they not be rewarded too?
A former student teacher of mine came by the other day and was practically crying in my driveway as she told about how her hands were tied when it came to any type of real evaluation of her students. She told of one of her middle school students who did no work last year, from the begining of school until Nov., when he dropped out. In April, system administrators called and begged him to come to take the TCAP tests. He did and performed poorly on all of them. He came to school no more that year and yet he was passed on to the next grade that fall. How can we take pride in a system that allows these types of actions?
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