I just saw the end of my first grading period at my new school. As I was preparing to finalize my students’ grades, I was pulled aside by my department head and informed that there were a couple of things that I needed to be made aware of, if I wanted to avoid having “that conversation” with my administrators.
The rules for student grades are:
1 No student who is an ESOL student (meaning that they do not speak English as their primary language) can receive less than a C in any class they are taking.
2 No more than 15% of your students can receive less than a C.
Doing so means that you will be called into the principal’s office, and will be told that you need to do more to improve your student’s performance. Even if your students don’t turn in any work, even if they are absent the entire grading period, if more than 15% of them have less than a C, it is YOUR fault as the teacher, and if it continues, you will lose your job.
The teacher across the hall from me refused to adjust the grades that her students earned. She was just told that her contract is not being renewed next year.
Me? Of my 132 students, 30 of them have been absent for at least 22 of the 45 days of the grading period. One student was absent for 29 of them, and at least 15 minutes tardy on 9 other days. Still, if I refuse, I will be fired and replaced with someone who will comply.
I adjusted, folded, spindled, and added points. 88% of my students got a C or higher. I’m hanging in there, but I feel like I have sold out.
The education system is irretrievably broken.