Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Pass or Not To Pass?

That's the question NYC teachers have to ask themselves, and surprisingly, there's another worthwhile column in the NY Post which ponders the question. I don't know how many times I've spoken to teachers who've told me they were judged by their passing ratios. Is it the fault of crazy supervisors? Perhaps, but they're under the same ridiculous pressures we are--if you don't perform, they close your school, ship in better students, and send the troubled ones to the next school on the hit list.

So you try to get kids with the program. You call, you beg, you send them to get help? If that doesn't work, do you hold tight to your academic integrity and fail kids who don't show, don't work, don't care? Or do you pass them because your supervisor says, "Here at Generic High School, 80% of kids pass."

The thing is, even when you stretch yourself as thin as possible and push the kids through, the Post will put up stats on how many high school grads need remedial courses, and once again it's the fault of those crappy high school teachers who pass everyone simply because their schools will be closed if they don't.

If you uphold your standards, you stink because not enough kids pass. If you pass everyone to please your boss, save your job, save your school, you stink because your kids end up in remedial classes.

It's a pretty tough choice.
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