This started at the beginning of the year when I thought I heard one of our administrators announce that the official policy of the school board was that students could fail two of their core classes in their last semester and still qualify for promotion and all the activities surrounding it. I was not surprised. I have come to expect this kind of thing. I was horrified because you always hope that you are missing something, but this seemed pretty clear.
In talking with other teachers it seemed like we all heard slightly different things. That is normal so I started asking for an official statement. Believe it or not, sometimes people in charge on our district don’t get their facts straight. Others were asking the same questions and finally I procured a printed document with the district’s name across the top that was official. At least it looks official. I am assuming it is genuine because I know the source.
It is labeled “Middle School Contract” and is dated for last years school term. It has a place for the student and parents to sign but there is no indication that the teachers are involved. I for one had never seen this before.
Let me share a couple of the requirements:
“No more than 2 F’s in the last reporting period.”My computer did not recognize the spelling of “remediate” so I looked it up. It is an archaic term that is an adjective, not a verb. Welcome to high standards. Notice that is says “must utilize” not “make up.” Also recognize that the last grading period is the last five weeks of school and there is no honest way to make up grades from a 19 week class in that time. Also be aware that there are no standard ways to make up failures. We had no summer school. It is up to the local authorities.
“Students must utilize all opportunities provided by the school and District to remediate F grades in 7th and 8th grades.”
The document starts out with,
“The goal of ______ Staff and Administration is to ensure the success of every student. This contract provides support for the achievement of a successful academic journey and memorable conclusion to your middle school years at _____.”I guess it all depends on what you consider success. Repeated failure and lack of accountability is not my definition, but I do not indulge in the Administration Kool Aid.
Happy High Standards and Rigor Day.
homo unius libri