Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Principal and The Prom

Jean was looking forward to the prom.  Her mom was too and that is why they both went ballistic when she was told she could not attend.  Jean had failed economics and the school had a policy stating no senior who failed could attend.

Jean's mom immediately made an appointment with the Principal.  He explained the rules that mom wanted no part of.  She said prom was much more important that graduation.  Besides, Jean had gotten a 60 in the class which meant she will pass in June and graduate anyway.

The Principal stood firm.  Jean's mom went over his head and complained to the school board.  She found a loop hole.  No where in the rules and regulations of the school was there a policy about having to pass to attend the prom.  The school board stood with Jean and she was allowed to attend.  The night before the prom guidance counselors called every barred senior and offered them free admission to the prom.

I worry about the message this sent to Jean.  She failed to do the things she could have done (extra credit to pass) and still got to go.  I worry about the 60 grade which is meant as a warning, but a weak one.  Anyone who goes to that high school knows everyone will pass in the end.  Graduation rates are far more important than real education.

A part of me is happy Jean won.  The 60 grade is ridiculous.  If I gave a grade of 60 and then failed someone at the end, I had to justify the mark to my AP and stand up to endlessly being berated for not knowing my students.  If I failed too many, it was my fault again, so I (and everyone else) stretched grades to pass everyone.  The Principal and the school ended up looking foolish.  Maybe this will end  some of these stupid policies.


Anonymous said...

It is an "entitlement" generation. She lost in reality because she learned that she can get through any system!

burntoutteacher said...

In many schools teachers are being told that they can only give 60's to students who didn't do all the work and 55's to long-term absentees. Those are the ONLY two grades teachers are allowed to give. This is to assure that it will be easier for the admin to justify passing all those 60 kids despite their not doing any work. Grades become meaningless, high school diplomas become meaningless, credit recovery is the new norm, graduation rates are absurdly high given the lack of skills, and teachers are helpless to stop this destruction.

Bronx ATR said...

Walk into those economics classes sometime. They are being taught by Social Studies teachers instead of business teachers. The Social Studies teachers make an effort but it has really become a class where if you show up, you pass. Let her go to the prom, she'll get the real deal in college (hopefully).