Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why do we give grades?-A rant

I woke up this morning all happy. One week to go and today is our awards program. I was helping set up, when I got called to the office for an urgent parent meeting. I rush back to the office only to find Goober (I love Andy Griffith by the way). This hayseed has given me problems on more than one occasion. His son Goob suffers from a chronic case of won't-hit-a-lick. I smile and escort Goober to my office.

"How can I help you?" I asked patiently.

"I just can't let Goob fail the 8th grade," replied Goober.

"Well, technically he can go to summer school and take care of the two F's he has."

" I am leaving for W. Virginia, and he has to go with me," said Goober matter of factly.

What a tube steak! This moron is really asking me to promote his child for doing nothing, nada, zilch.

"Sir, I guess you got a tough choice to make. He can go to summer school or he can remain in the eighth grade."

"Naw, I can't believe after all I have done for this school system you won't help me out here."

"I can't do for your son, what I won't do for any other student. That isn't fair. You really want me to pass him on to the 9th grade," I replied.

"No, I want you to put him in 9th grade and then if he screws up again, put him back in 8th," retorted Goober.


Why am I rationalizing with Goober? This moron couldn't toast bread.

"I can't help you. My decision is final!"

"I guess I am going to have to home school him then."

"Can I get you the paperwork?" I retorted ever-so-quickly.

The next time you pundits want to point to the good ole days of education and describe how our public schools are failing, come and have a conversation with Goober. The schools in this country are filled with parents like Goober and their offspring are Goobs. Schools haven't changed. Kids haven't changed. The way we parent and raise kids has.

Whew! I feel so much better now!


Anonymous said...

I've worked a LOT of retail and came up with the same conclusion: Parents today suck.

btw-thanks for putting me on your blogroll! I did the happy dance. lol.

Anonymous said...

Preach it brother!

I wish all principals had your principles.

Unknown said...

I don't know why you won't just pass him - could you be more difficult? LOL - I love that. I especially love that the parent wants you to babysit him in the 9th grade and bump him back down if he screws up. I didn't know that was one of your many services!!!!

What's scary is the possibility that he will be homeschooled!

WendyDarling said...

Good for you for sticking to your guns! :-)

I had the opposite problem my last year in public school. I had a student who CLEARLY was not ready to move on and I wanted to hold him back. The child psychologist fought me on it, insisting it would "hurt his self-esteem." They passed him. Last I heard he dropped out and Lord only knows what he is doing now. :-(

Unknown said...

THANK YOU! I have said this many a time, sometimes under my breath muttering. Parents at some point are going to have to pony up and answer to their responsibility and their part in their child's education. Teachers are looking at merit pay because kids sometime just don't give a hoot. What ever happened to those people at home? The first teachers? crum. I might just write about this on my own.

Kim said...


Ann aka ButDoctorIHatePink said...

We have at least five kids that are going to be retained. Several of these parents are shocked - SHOCKED - that their child who had gotten all Fs would be held back. The whining and complaining is amazing.

And, numerous have to go to summer school and that will interfere with scheduled vacations. How dare we? The parents seem completely shocked that a student who doesn't earn enough credits have consequences.

On the other hand, we also have a C student whose parents want us to retain him because he's not working hard enough. Try explaining that we have no options for retaining passing students. This parent actually composed an email to the school staff about how lazy their kid was to only earn Cs and they wanted him held back - and made the kid hit send.

I don't know which is worse. The ones who want their kids to have zero consequences for their inaction or the ones who over-punish normal behavior.