Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Fix That Started years Ago

Before there was a de Blasio and a Farina there were politicians like Bush and Obama and billionaires like Gates making school graduation rates a priority.  No one stopped to think about why all of a sudden schools had such tremendous growth in the number of graduates.

My former AP wanted everyone to set passing goals for their classes.  Since I usually ended up with the most at risk students my stats were usually lower than many others.  It did not bother the Principal since he understood the challenges I faced and respected the number I got through and how I was able to work with them but it bothered the hell out of my AP, a guy who only saw life in black and white.  I refused to give him a number.  When he pushed, I said my goal is 100% passing.  He told me that was unrealistic and wanted a number around 80%.  I finally told him I could not be comfortable with a goal of 20% failing.  Of course he mumbled something and I left with no goal set.

Other teachers were not as gutsy and he did get them to set goals.  If they did not meet these goals he badgered them and berated them in public (not by name but everyone knew who the senior teacher was  who taught geometry period 8).  Teachers were forced to stretch grades and give credit for names on papers.  No one would believe some of the regents answers that were given points.

Phony diplomas are not a new thing and they need to stop.  Maybe the Post's story will finally help to bring an end to this horrific problem.

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