Sunday, May 20, 2007

Do you know who my father is? Do you know who my mother is?

Or used to be? Or is?

At least that's what one New Mexico (formerly) non-graduating senior had to say. His F in English was changed to a D after his father, a former school board member and his mother, the current county commissioner appealed the grade. His original teacher and the principal of the high school said no. Unsatisfied, the couple continued to appeal the grade-- both the senior teacher and the head principal were then overruled and the grade was changed from an F to a D. The union has filed a grievance, though even if they win the school board has said the grade will not be changed back to an F.

At the center of the issue is the failure of the teacher(s) at the high school to notify parents of seniors that the students are failing. Those of you who teach seniors (as I do from time to time) are familiar with this concern. I mail letters, make calls and document them to make sure every one's on the same page. What do you do? I've never had a grade overturned in any of my classes-- at least not that they've told me about.

I for one applaud the actions of the parents. I think both of them being involved at some point in their lives as politicians explains why they don't want to leave any child behind (including their own). I think the two of them made AYP for influence peddling this year.

Read more about the story here. This student (from the same high school, in the same situation) could graduate if he was given the same treatment as the politician's kid. More about lack of senior notification at the high school here. The Albuquerque Tribune ran an editorial that supported the teachers and the original decision by the administration.

The best line: "There would have been no dishonor in having the student make the grade during summer school and graduate a bit late. There is much dishonor in the contortions everybody is performing to make this grade change work."

More about the grievance here. Another article about the situation/ grievance here. Joanne Jacobs also blogged about it here.


goin2college said...

It really bothers me when things like that happen. I am senior in high school and I do my work and have fun. I feel that there is no reason to fail because "you are a senior". Kids who use that excuse are lazy and the parents of those children should realize that their kids are failing. It really bothers me that parents can bail their kids out of anything.

Eric said...

"At the center of the issue is the failure of the teacher(s) at the high school to notify parents of seniors that the students are failing."

Isn't that what report cards are for? Shouldn't the parents have been *paying attention*?

I have noticed a trend in blaming teachers for what is really the student's and his parents' responsibility.



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