Monday, June 06, 2011

Inside Four Walls: But I averaged a B in high school...

I have mentioned Catch-22's in the past and this one is particularly close to my heart. Apparently getting a B in high school isn't that special. You know what a B gets you in high school, remedial classes in college.
Ninety-four percent of Chicago Public Schools graduates who go to city community colleges need remediation in math. Most also need to work on basic reading and writing skills. Many thought they were doing well in high school. 
Eighty-five percent of California’s incoming community college students aren’t prepared for college math and 70 percent aren’t ready for college English. Four out of five remedial students had a B average or higher in high school. Instructors are experimenting with accelerated remediation to get students into college-level classes quickly.
This doesn't surprise me at all. We are told to pass these kids and make them feel good about themselves. We don't want to fight any kind of battle about failing a student, why? Most of the time it's because teachers don't get that support from the administration to fight back. Most of the time they take the path of least resistance. How is that working for us?

When I failed a senior, the parent wanted a grade change because I didn't send home written notification. I did however have a face to face meeting. The parent heard that she needed a written notice or the grade would change to a D. I had to fight and print out Edcode before I finally got them on my side. How many teachers are willing to fight that hard?

This all goes back to one of my first Catch-22s. I was told to make my class grades reflect their state test score and when I did that, what was I told? I had too many F's and that I needed to have higher grades. So what do you want? Feel good grades or grades that match what they know?

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