Sunday, October 09, 2011
Way to many parents blame the teacher for their own failures. In my experience gained while raising 5 children, there was another side of the coin. There were dozens of teachers who would not stand up against the political and union machines for the sake of their students. Our children's classrooms were crammed with recent immigrants who were illiterate in any language, not just English. One teacher told us in a whisper, "Your son is an excellent student, I just wish I was allowed to teach him at his level." It was nice to know, but I wish he would have stood up to the politicians and union bosses who were responsible for poor performance of the local schools.
Odd that the teacher looks like the only one that my folks ever had to demand "what is up with these grades?" to-- because 1/3 of our final grade was a single project. I did it six months early, she graded it and even praised it to the sky for being such a PERFECT example of exactly what she wanted in her wildest dreams out of this project, gave me 110% of the possible credit... and then she forgot that I'd turned it in, and marked me as failing to do the project at all at the end of the year.
She "graciously" allowed me to get 75% credit for "turning it in late" (yeah, it was that kind of class...) when I brought it in, with her own writing on it. Had to bring my mother in to breath fire and brimstone to even get that.
Good teachers get a lot of crud, but so do the bad ones.
On the other hand, we are really struggling, last year and this year, with what's called "Everyday math". It's a terrible program. It's inconsistent, confusing, and ineffective.
But it MUST be used because...of something I guess. It's a constant struggle to keep up our daughters self-esteem, her like of school, AND actually teach her math (which the school isn't doing).
Over the course of a generation grading got flipped around in most schools. When most students get some kind of "A" it's more a measure of basic aptitude and conformity than a measure of excellence.
When I was in college, "A" grades were reserved for only about the top 25%. The mean grade was a "B". If you go back to when George Bush was at Yale, most students got a "C".
Today, with grade inflation, not getting an "A" is a stigma. Hence, why parents and kids have gotten whacky
antithaca, When I was a kid it was "New Math". The teachers told us not to ask our parents questions about it because our parents wouldn't understand it. My father's minor was Mathematics. He got them to stop saying that.