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I am a high school teacher, who over the last few years become very burnt out with the educational system we have in this state and in others. When do students and their parents become responsible for their childrens grades. When do we end social promotion and make a childs intelligence more important then their social skills. I have thirty-six kids who failed to pass a test to be promoted to high- school but were promoted any way, some barly read at a 3rd grade level but are in regular classrooms. Because my class is an elective I do not have a team teacher to help me with their modifications, I can’t read a test to them, give a small group test, and give a diffrent test then these 36 kids then to the others. Some of these kids failed to turn in major projects, one even refused in front of her mother, what am I supposed to do? Are their any others out their who feel the way I do? Its as if the system is setting me up to fail. Many teachers can contest to the fact if you have to many failurs it must be you? Did I mention that I have dumbed down my material to the 7th grade level?



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tori Santos wrote Oct 28, 2008
    • Been there, I was a store manager for a fairly large retail chain before I decided to go back and use my degree. That was 12 years ago. Do I regret leaving that job know, but I am starting to doubt my choice for change.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Slee1960 wrote Oct 28, 2008
    • I can relate to all you are saying. Even as a special education teacher, I see the same things you are describing. I am the one who does the reading of the tests and the one on one work. I know here in the state I work for, none of my students can receive an F without tons of documentation stating that I have done everything I can to keep that child from receiving that F. The system allows the child to move on to the next grade even though the skills the child has are not even close to grade level. I believe in PL 94-142 which says every child deserves a free public education.I just can’t believe it’s gotten to a point where the kids, special ed or not. are being passed on without a second glance. We are doing a disservice to the child and the world they are moving into as adults. I am at a loss as well.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Oct 29, 2008
    • Last year our 12 year old was on the honor roll all 4 quarters..She was even put on the principals roll (I forgot exactly what they call it)...Anyway...we sit them all down periodically and have them read to us out loud just to see how well they comprehend...(we also have them write about the books they read so that they do understand what they read)..Anyway I was shocked to find that my daughter didn’t understand most of what she read...and my son wasn’t any better...But it showed us that we had to step up the game because obviously children are getting passing grades for the minimal effort...Just attending the class...

      It does make me question the integrity of the school system now though!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tori Santos wrote Oct 29, 2008
    • But if we fail to many kids we are called on the carpet even w/ documentation. I had a parent swear to me her child was always an a student I said if he turns in an A paper I will gladley give him an a. I went as far as puting out an editing check list, it had all the things that kids should know. Hah, hAH, HAH!!!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Peejay64 wrote Nov 8, 2008
    • I have worked in 2 different school districts. It saddens me that people are so wrapped up in social promotion  and that the kids aren’t getting what they really need!  Our kids need to be educated...not pushed ahead just because everyone else is going forward.  

      Yes, we start our kids earlier, and many of us are able to see wonderful progress in our children or other students.  However, some kids need extra time & attention and may not be ready to move forward when their peers are.  Why, oh why should they just move on up when they truly aren’t prepared?  Ugh!

      I have a son who we chose to “retain” back in early elementary school.  It was the best thing we could have done for him at the time.  He is now enrolled in college courses as a junior in h.s. and is on track to graduate a semester early with a h.s. diploma and his 2 yr. (Associate’s Degree) from college.

      Thinking back, we struggled with the decision.  I cried about it and made my husband start out the conversation with this adorable, toe-headed little 1st grader.  Once the initial conversation was over...our little guy was okay with it.  Probably relieved!  We are so glad we did what we did - when we did.  

      As a teacher, this may be the hardest conversation to have with a parent.  I remember a kindergarten teacher (kindergarten!) telling me that my son seemed a “little young“.  She waited until the end of the school year to have any conversation with me at all.  At the time I was pissed off that she said something like that AND that she waited so long to do so.  But it didn’t take long to appreciate the courage it took her to bring it up at all and that it was in her student (my son) ’s best interest.  Thank you, Mrs. Winter!!!  

      There are parents who think it is the sole responsibility of the schools/teachers to make sure their kids are on track.  It takes a lot more than just the schools!  Parents need to be aware, involved and responsible for their childrens’ education.  Having worked in the school districts, I’ve seen many types...those who push their kids hard (too hard); those who encourage, but don’t
      get too involved and are fine with mediocrity; and those who have no idea what’s going on in the classroom or what kind of homework their kid is bringing home.  

      I know there are parents who struggle with it.  See what their kids are capable of and what their kids are really challenged by.  Worried about the social repercussions...raised eyebrows, teasing from other children.  My advice to them...go with your gut!  If you think your child needs extra attention, extra help, or another go at 1st grade (or whatever the case may be)  DO IT!  Your child can only benefit from your attention to this.

      I know I’ve rambled on about this.  But I’ve seen it from the educational side and the parental side, too.  My thanks and admiration to the teachers who really care and my encouragement to the parents who are dealing with decisions about their children’s education.

      Peace,

      Patti



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jldixon wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I totally understand what you are all talking about.  However, I am on the other side of the fence here.  My daughter was held back in the 1st grade.  As soon as I found out that she was having problems big enough to hinder her chance of advancement, I got a tutor.  I requested a conference with the principal of her school on several occasions, and finally got one the last week of school!  Since then, my attitude has changed towards school personel and the school district here.  I do have respect for all of her teachers and the school staff, however, I have had a horrible time with getting help for my daughter.  She’s 11 years old, she has ADHD and has insomnia to boot.  I was told when she was in the first grade that there was no additional help that they could offer her in school.  They did not have the funding.  However, they also told me that they did have special classes for immigrant children, they had teachers who spoke spanish that would give the tests and help the children with their English by translating the lessons.  This infuriated me because I felt that my child needed just as much help, but was denied. My thought about “no child left behind” was not the same as everybody elses. I removed her from that school and enrolled her in a magnet school.  The teachers there are wonderful.  They have all taken extra time with her and been extremely patient and helpful.  I did learn of the IEP program from the guidance counselor and school psycologist, and that has also helped her have extra time to complete some work.  The teachers are great, but the principal and I have shared words that were pretty heated once.  She called me selfish, and warned me that my child was going to be a statistic who would more than likely drop out of school before graduating high school.  That also rubbed me THE wrong way.  Now I have a hard time with encourgaing my child to respect a lady that treated me with such disrespect.  I have managed to do it though, with alot of humor.  But, I just wanted to say that it’s not only frusterating for the teachers, but for some of the parents too.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Nov 21, 2008
    • Reply to Soulful40. It sounds like the school your children go to checks for reading ability, but doesn’t do a great job checking for comprehension. Teachers, especially at the elementary level, would love parents like you to come in and tutor. You would also be a great role model for other parents. There are so many parents that do not have time (or are unwilling to find the time)to read with their children because they work long hours. I wish more parents were in tune with what their kids were learning.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kpg19 wrote Nov 21, 2008
    • Response to j1dixon. What did the public school say they were unable to do for your daughter? If your daughter has diagnosed ADHD there are certain things they must allow, such as extra time on tests. If she has learning disabilities along with her ADHD they are required by law to help her. There are so many interventions that can be done. What did they mean by saying they couldn’t do anything more for her?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote Jan 4, 2010
    • Tori, Slee, and Peejay  

                                      

      I want you to realize that even if what you are doing seems like a waste of time, there is that one student whom you are helping and you may not even know it. I had learning disabilities. When I was in elementary and junior high school I had teachers who helped me tremendously. I had to take special classes, along with my regular ones, for reading and math. I did not have the maturity then to realize how blessed I was to have such wonderful teachers. When I was in 9th grade I had a 4th grade reading level. I think a lot of it was due to my own laziness. Then I started doing a lot of reading. I read books that interested me. By the time I graduated high school, 4 years later; I took a reading comprehension test and tested at a college reading level. I am at college level in math as well. I have a degree in graphic design. I received my AS degree in graphic design and graduated with a 3.9 overall. Due to the poor economy I had trouble securing a job in the field so I decided to go back to school. I am currently attending a local University and studying Psychology. Yes I do admit I am proud of myself for climbing what seemed to be insurmountable hurtles but the main meaning to this message is to tell you that I could have not done it without some wonderful teachers. I want you to know that although it may seem so, what you do is not a waste of time. Your job is of utmost importance. A thank you to all teachers! They deserve our deepest respect, Faye



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