Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stupid Stupid Stupid

This week I’ve been examining the new DOE grading protocols, which insist everything be fair and transparent. I’ve written about their notions about homework, which I deemed borderline clueless, but I’m learning even more about them.

In our school, we are semi-annualized. This means that most classes last a year, though they get one credit for each half. We have an understanding that if a student gets a 55 in January, it will be reversed if the teacher grants a 65 at year’s end. This, since it’s understood by staff, makes sense to me. But it doesn’t make sense to the geniuses at Tweed. You see, the average of 55 and 65 is 60, and if things aren’t properly averaged, it’s likely the world will stop turning. We can’t have that, can we?

So teacher discretion is a thing of the past because it’s all about the numbers. To me, that’s ironic because our esteemed chancellor made her bones by running a school. She was legendary. She turned the whole thing around. And she did so by turning down 6 out of 7 applicants, according to the New York Times. If that’s not juking the stats I don’t know what is.

In any case, God forbid some kid should rehabilitate herself, start attending, and actually learn what I have to teach. If her average does not rise to 65, screw her. Let her take the whole course over for no reason because fairness. After all, there should be no discretion whatsoever on the part of the teacher to help a child. Who the hell do these teachers think they are anyway? Why on earth should their individual subjective judgment or desire to help a child trump an average?

It’s funny how people in NYSED and the DOE who regularly mess with figures have no trust whatsoever for working teachers. People who aren’t trustworthy, for some reason. seem to assume other people aren’t trustworthy either. Now I have my bad qualities, and I could line up a lot of people who would characterize me as a pain in the ass, but my word is my bond.

Nonetheless, that’s not actually the stupidest thing I’ve seen this week. While I’d actually planned on saying it was, something happened this morning that made me reconsider. This morning, after a test, a girl in my class almost passed out. I called for a wheelchair. I was told that there was a directive that they not be used. It seems people have not been sufficiently trained in their usage and maintenance, and are therefore not only unqualified, but also liable in the case of anything untoward occurring.

I’m supposing that someone got hurt while using a wheelchair somewhere. What the geniuses at Tweed fail to consider is the number of people who will be hurt by not using wheelchairs. It must be good to sit around an office all day, come up with stupid ideas, force schools to use them, and blame the people who actually teach children for everything and anything that goes wrong.

Sure beats working.

Correction--Actually the document gives as an example that a student with a minimum grade of 75 in June will have her  January grade adjusted to 75 as well. I'm not sure this is minimum policy. 
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