Monday, May 30, 2011

How Much Responsibility Is On The Teacher, and How Much Is On The Student?

Mandated passing rates? Really? Have these idiots never heard the saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink"?
First, a professional in a Manhattan high school wrote to say that teachers in her school are "encouraged" to pass 80 percent of students, no matter their grades or attendance. She offered student writing samples filled with glaring errors of spelling and grammar to prove that "social promotion is alive and well"...

"Our mandated passing rate is 60 percent," one wrote. "We need to explain in detail why this student failed, what methods were used to get him to pass, how much home contact was made.

"The one group that is not called in for interrogation is the students themselves. No blame falls on them . . . The students know what is going on. It has empowered them to feel that they can work less or not at all and still pass the class."

These teachers, and others mentioned in the linked article, must feel helpless in such a perverted system.

Update, 5/31/11: Even the New York Times has noticed:
Teachers are fed up with being blamed for the failures of American education, and legislators are starting to hear them. A spate of bills introduced in various states now takes aim squarely at the parents. If you think you can legislate teaching, the notion goes, why not try legislating parenting?

It is a complicated idea, taking on the controversial question of whether parents, teachers or children are most to blame when a child fails to learn.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Berkeley should practice this. (jk)

Darren said...

The Berkeley School District ( or UCB?

Anonymous said...

Could be worse. In our esteemed district the powers that be think 90% is the going rate. And the students are never to blame. It's 100% the teacher's fault if a student fails.

Anonymous said...

We don't have mandatory passing rates, but my district has cut all summer school except for those who are short credits to graduate and those who need help passing the exit exam. This means, at the middle school level, students who fail every class are passed on unless their own parents request retention. How often do you think that happens?