Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Is There A Prize For Who Says Please The Most?

Memo 011 just came out, barking orders for the uniform final and for end of the year activities.  Every paragraph starts with the word please but the tone is Hitlerike all the way.

Term after term we have all pointed out the folly of uniform midterm and final exams when the same exam, or two slightly different versions of it are being given all day long.  By 4th period, the kids have the exam in advance and I've seen countless students put down answers without even reading the questions.  Sure there are cell phone restrictions and calculators are supposedly cleared but since the beginning of time kids have found a way to beat the system and the system at Packemin is very easy to beat.  And, to top it off, the overworked teachers often use exams from previous years, and questions from an exam generating program, questions they have done many times in class.

Mr. AP likes things his way. Even though his way is not an academically sound way, he never changes.  And, why shoud he, he gets away with this time after time after time.

Here is memo 011.  Why should the math department of Packemin be the only ones to feel the love.

January 3, 2012 Welcome back and happy New Year!
 If you are a grade leader, please make sure you communicate with every teacher teaching the course before you make up the final exam.  It is impossible to change the final.  Please submit all copies to me on or before January 11, 2012. 

Please make sure you use proper headings.  Part II should be 40 points and Part I should be 60 points.  Please make sure there are at least two versions of each final. Please make sure there are instructions going on at all times.  No parties should be held during a math class. I suggest you give a multiple-choice exam on the last day of this term.  You can substitute one low grade with that exam grade if it is higher.  Unless you are teaching a class that terminates in the Regents exam, trying to teach the last day is going to be very difficult. 

If you are teaching ME41, ME21, ME43, MG21/R/H or MR21/r/h, you must give a grade at the end of the term.  If you are teaching an elective, you have the option of NC or CR.  Please discuss with your individual students how you intend to grade them. Too many of the students in electives have come to me with great concerns.  Please address their concerns with them instead of sending them to see me or take no actions. 

Please be advised that Regents tutoring hours have been extended for Algebra and Geometry.  Please let your students know. 

Please make sure you communicate with the parents of the students who are failing your class.  We still have one more exam and the mid-term exam to hopefully bail them out.  Let the parent know how their child can correct the situation and that we will never give up on their child (some of them might have). 

Thank you very much and have a great week.


Anonymous said...

How does a teacher "bail out" students by using exams? and "while some parents have given up on their child teachers haven't?" Can you clarify these items Mr. AP?

High Arka said...

Brilliant, sad, and very good observation overall. <3

When work switches to the factory style, the resulting "efficiencies" only appear as short-term illusions for the naive. The horror takes a while to set in. Why bother teaching when you're treated poorly? If it's a struggle to survive, do as little work as possible to scrape by. Call their bluff.

High Arka said...

More: good for the kids for coming up with clever ways to cheat. If progress is based upon filling in circles rather than on achieving knowledge and understanding, they're behaving exactly as the system is implicitly (explicitly?) telling them to. Filling in blanks being more important than thinking critically, cheaters will prosper while "non-cheaters" will be the suckers that lose out, unable to understand why their publicly-vaunted honesty and deep thought leads nowhere.

You get what you pay for.

Schoolgal said...

AP was obviously told about the tone of his memos. He has found a way to use the word "please" and turn it to slime.

He is more concerned about testing than students. Isn't this a great way to run a school :)