Friday, January 29, 2016

On Marking and Marginalizing

I'm getting field reports from my friends in exile. They're off grading Regents exams in schools that are Far, Far Away. They keep asking me how things are on the home planet. I've been proctoring and sitting in the reserve room. I even got to go out to lunch, once, but I can't count on lightning striking twice in the same place.

Of course they're away because here in Fun City, teachers are assumed to be worthless layabouts who sit in classrooms reading the New York Times all year. Toward the end of the semester, they try to make it look like they're actually doing something, so what they do is falsify results on Regents exams, instruments so precise they are the only valid measurements of how kids perform. For example, as a teacher of beginning ELLs, it's assumed I'd give each and every incoherent scribble an excellent grade because the students draw breath.

That's not an offensive assumption, is it?

In most of the state, they deal with the perfidy of teachers by swapping exams, i.e., you grade my class and I'll grade yours. But in New York City, we're scrupulous about ethics. That's why we insist on perfect leadership and you never, ever read about administrators being arrested for drug possession or having sex on official DOE property. It's those filthy, cheating, unscrupulous teachers to blame for it all.

So we don't swap exams. We're so scrupulous that we don't let teachers even grade tests from their home schools. We either send them packing to other buildings or pay them hourly to grade tests. After all, why shouldn't we pay people extra to do what they've always done as a matter of course? That's a worthwhile expenditure, isn't it?

In fact, we've taken it one step further. My colleague reports that she and another teacher at our school are not permitted to grade together. This, of course, is because they would surely conspire to pass everyone. Or fail everyone. Maybe they'd conspire to pass some and fail others. It's tough to say. The only thing of which we can be certain is that each and every element of this plot is diabolical. Thank goodness the great minds of our city have come together to prevent such an outrage.

The takeaway, though, is that teachers are cunning and ruthless, utterly self-serving, and must not be permitted to get together and hatch their evil plans. No doubt that's why the powers that be are so intent on crushing our unions over at SCOTUS.

Surely that will teach us a valuable lesson.
blog comments powered by Disqus