Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rock and a Hard Place

One of the things we heard on staff development day is that the school is not reaching enough Black students. Interesting, I didn't think this term was politically correct but evidently, this is the way the kids are being referred to this year. One of the kids mentioned by name, Nutjob is a kid I have written about in the past I wrote twice because I like him so much and he is being left behind by a corrupt system. It seems Nutjob should be a junior but he has accumulated less than ten credits since he began high school. I'm not surprised. Nutjob is hyperactive. He has attention deficits. He cuts. He disrupts classes. He looks scary. In reality, he is a sweet, kind kid looking for attention. He is bright. I know because I have spent many periods working with him one-to-one. He wouldn't hurt a fly. So now he has been pinpointed as someone in need. Will anything be done to help him? I doubt it. He still wanders around. He sometimes comes to my ninth period class and actually does some of the work (even though the class is two years ahead of his math class.) He sometimes finds me before he has a test so we can go over the material he will be tested on. His classes are still packed in at 34. He is getting no special help in math or reading. Unfortunately he will probably not get any credits this semester either. I don't think our school really wants to help kids like Nutjob. The administration would like them all to just go away. Nutjob is stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is no place for him to go.

On another note, my AP is trying to meet with all the teachers in the department to go over scholarship reports from last term. I haven't seen him yet, and don't intend to unless he makes time to see me during my C-6 assignment. I'm not worried about his threats. Three U's and I'm out. Well, I've never even gotten a negative letter in my file so I'm not concerned. If he starts with U's now, I'll be long gone before three. If he tells me to transfer or retire, I think I will threaten him with an age discrimination suit. One of my friends, probably the best teacher, definitely the best math teacher in the building met with him today. He told my friend that his statistics were too good. He should be failing more kids. His tests must be too easy if so many kids are passing. He then pointed out a kid that my friend gave a 93 but who only got an 82 on the final!

Suit wants us to pass them all. AP wants us to fail them. Those of us caught in the middle don't know what to do. I'm glad I always walked to a different beat. I pass the ones that deserve to pass and fail the ones that deserve to fail. I give the grades earned. I don't base a grade on one test. The new teachers and even some of the older ones are worried. They need their jobs. They want to do the right thing for the kids. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.


proofoflife said...

I have had it with scores. Minority students are indeed between a rock and a hard place. I read am article that spoke to NCLB and the minority student and it said that by the year 2096 they will have a fair shot. We know there is a great chance that children like Nutjob will end up in jail or in the war. When I read your thoughts I don't feel as crazy as I think I am .. Thanks!

A Workshop Model said...

Wait but the other day, didn't Mr. AP say that he'd U rate people who weren't "reaching" the kids? I interpret that as "pass them however you can". He sounds rather unstable and unhinged. I doubt he'd go after you, however. How can anyone's statistics be "too good"?? Mr. AP is fighting a lot of educational demons, and they're winning.

Pissed Off said...

Mr. AP will go to a rubber room in a straight jacket if he keeps up the way he is going.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

APs don't go to the rubber room.
They have immunity. It is not a matter of "caught between rock and hard place" it is a matter of doing the right thing and if every one did what could they (the adminstration) do?


These adminstrator's are not on the side of the students--we the teachers are. I have tried very hard to provide my students with what they need: academics, community, culture and safety. For my efforts I have been U rated by a punk. I am fighting these a-holes and will continue to resist until I am terminated from the lousy system we call the Department of Education of New York City. It is the only way I can look in the mirror.

Pissed Off said...

I try to do what is right for the kids also. I guess that is why I am so popular with the administration and Suit told me to transfer.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

He ordered you to transfer so as to get you out of the system a lot faster. They(the adminstration) have a plan and it is not my paranoia talking!

Pissed Off said...

He can't order me to transfer, but he did suggest I transfer. I told him: "This is a good school in a good neighborhood, near my house. Parking is easy. I'm not going anywhere and he better deal with it." i walked out on him and have not really spoken to him since.

He gets realy pissed when he hears that I have repeated this story. It makes him look really bad because I am well liked in the school. Tough! I tell it all the time and hope that he has heard that I told it. (I make sure his spies are around to hear and repeat.)