ADMINISTRATION DOESN'T SUPPORT ME! Please HELP!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by snowboarder77, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 4, 2009



    You have just presented an EXCELLENT argument for standardized testing. Keeping kids from loosing hope is important and she may be accomplishing that with what she's doing, but are they leaving the class with requisit knowledge level for the course?

    If they are then more power to her!!!!!

    ALL of my courses have state issued end of course exams so I have a bar to meet that I have absolutely no power to manipulate. We gripe about them, but they do serve a very real purpose.
     
  2. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 4, 2009

    I never said that the new grade should be arbitrary.

    The student or parent should have the OPTION of requesting that the principal change the grade based on the incompetency or apathy of the teacher. And the principal should have the power to make that change. I absolutely believe that.

    I've seen it happen just this year. Students who are stellar students, hard workers, not grade grubbers, not lazy...but they're all failing Algebra II/Trig H. They are ALL failing. With such a high failure rate (virtually 100%), you HAVE to consider that the TEACHER is the one making the mistake. How in the world is it fair to force those students to keep that grade, unfairly assigned, on a transcript which might make or break their admittance to college?


    I stand by my position, even if you disagree.
     
  3. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Mar 4, 2009

    I'm with you Cassie! Enough said.
     
  4. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 4, 2009

    I agree with your position.

    The bugger is in the details. Principles are under job pressure to have a certain percent passing. Several Metro Nashville school teachers I know have been specifically told "Though shalt have no more than 15% failing."

    So how do you keep the Teachers AND the Principles honest? Especially when jobs are on the line?

    How do you prevent abuse of power by giving one person the arbitrary right to change the grade a teacher has assigned?

    In the example you cite above, there's a major employee performance issue and it sounds like that employee needs to be replaced.
     
  5. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 4, 2009

    Let me throw this out there Cassie.....


    Do you have State end of course tests in Algebra II? Tennesse is starting them. If you have a class that is all passing their Algebra II course but all fail the State issued test, the State is going to be paying a visit to investigate why. (That's our new State policy.)

    Do you think the students in your example learned the curriculum and are prepared for the test?
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 4, 2009

    Whatever happens with the employee is irrelevant. The grade has been assigned and is now on 200 students' transcripts.

    I'm not giving "the arbitrary right" to anyone. The principal has earned the right, by virtue of his or her position, to make changes as appropriate. I completely believe that there should be some sort of documentation, appeals process, or whatever. I'm not advocating that the principal should be able to go into everyone's gradebooks and change every grade for no reason.

    The principal is in charge of the school and what happens in it. He or she is the one responsible for those decisions. As a teacher, I assign the grade, make copies of my gradebook, and CYA (CMA?). Then I leave it at that. I trust my principal to make the right decision. If you don't trust yours, then YOUR principal needs to be replaced.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 4, 2009

    We do have proficiency tests in math.

    And no, I don't think they're prepared. But it still isn't right that they have to keep an F on their transcript when they never had the opportunity to learn the material. Would it be fair for me to grab a random kid's transcript and put an F in Latin on there? I mean, the kid never passed my Latin class, right? Oh that's right. I didn't give them the chance to pass my class.
     
  8. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    We're actually in close agreement now that you have clarified your position. Your original post made no mention of many of these points.

    The problem is not good principles and I do have one. The problem is that bad principles are out there along with bad teachers. NCLB puts jobs on the line for passing and the temptation is great to cook the books.

    A system with no checks and balances is ripe for abuse. Just look at some of the failing school systems in Tennessee if you want some truely frightening examples of principles who have earned the right to dictate grading and chose to abuse that power.


    The teacher failed to teach, that is obvious. The principle failed to address the performance of one of his/her employees promptly enough to remediate the situation, that is obvous. Now what is doing right by the students in a bad situation? Failing grades isn't doing right by them, but are they ready to continue on to Advanced Algebra and Pre-Calculus? (I don't pretend to know the answer to that one. Was it addressed or did it go under "don't ask, don't tell?")
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My original post didn't need to make note of those points. The position remains the same: principals should have the right to change grades. No, I didn't originally qualify the statement. My point was not to qualify the statement but to state my opinion, which is different from the other opinions posted.

    Principals (-pals) can be bad, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't have the right to do what they need to do. I'll say it again, this time with feeling: The principal is in charge of the school and everything that happens in it.
     
  10. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Mar 5, 2009

    I'm not thinking that at all
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 5, 2009

    Cassie, you aren't bad for doing what your principal says. There is no telling what the principal will do if you don't do what they say. You could very easily lose your job.
     
  12. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Give the kid some type of paper to write, a report or something and then say you will change the grade. AT least make him work for the grade change. Principals can make your life miserable if they decide to and then your job is not worth having. Give the grade change and mpve on. The parents are the ones that have to raise that kid and live with him. Be thankful he is not yours.
     
  13. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    I don't think anybody can really say what we would do until we are actually placed in that position. It is so easy to say "I would never..." but when actually faced with a situation, and one that involves your livelyhood, we might be forced to make a decision we don't actually support. Shame on your administrators for placing you in such a position.
     
  14. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Mar 6, 2009

    Please do not believe my comments on the overlying ethics of the situation are coupled with my opinion of you or the reality you are dealing with.

    Your quandry is at the very heart of the problem and only you can decide where to draw the line. In truth, I don't know that this is a line worth risking your job over unless you're already planning to go elsewhere.


    All that said, I think Arky has the best idea I have heard yet:

     
  15. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Mar 6, 2009

    Cassie, I agree with you to a point.

    If a teacher is clearly NOT teaching the material in the way that the children are able to learn it - and the children are putting forth effort - the P needs to step in. Absolutely, unconditionally.

    My 1st year, I started in the middle of the 2nd semester as the 3rd teacher that year. I cracked down hard, since they literally had had no expectations and really hadn't done much that year. I gave out an awful lot of Fs to kids who refused to do work. Parents were pissed and went to the P; we talked about it and I allowed the kids to do make up work to bring their grades up (a one-time only deal). This way, the kids and parents knew I meant business and the P looked good to them.

    My 3rd year an AP told me if I didn't change a grade, I would lose my job. I was supposed to drop every grade from the previous teacher - but only for this child (a number of students failed). He skipped class; slept through tests or refused to write on them; and refused to do in-class assignments (much like the majority of the other kids.) I mentioned that if I dropped 5 weeks worth of work for one kid, ethically, I had to do it for all of them. I was told NOT to do that - only for this child.

    For a single woman on her own, I literally could not afford to lose my job, so I did it. It made me sick to my stomach - but also had repercussions throughout the year. From that point on (because what HS kid keeps his mouth shut?), the kids knew they only had to go to this AP and tell her I was unfair. My rules were unfair, my work too hard, the test too hard.

    The sad part is that my classroom rules were approved before I started and I was following district guidelines regarding work. My kids thought it was funny that I had absolutely no authority in my room and often mentioned that they would just go to the AP since they didn't feel like sitting down, staying in class, etc. I had ZERO authority because she enabled them.

    I guess it depends - if, like Cassie - you have complete faith in your P, there's no problem in doing what they think is best. If you do not have complete faith... well...
     
  16. dragonlady1182

    dragonlady1182 Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2009

    that is exactly where I am as of today! I had a parent threatening me and my job and my admin told me to "run for the car and drive away" if she accosts me at school. If I had any ability to do so, I would have quit today. I spent three hours in tears due to harassing emails and aggressive behavior that isn't being addressed and I can't quit.
     
  17. dragonlady1182

    dragonlady1182 Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2009

    A Qualification for Above

    let me add to my above post. This parent has been raging at others on our staff about her student and his grades. She has been really agressive and unforgiveably rude. She has made racist accusations, claims, and has committed libel in the process.
    This kid does not turn in his homework, does not write his essays, talks through class...along with many of his classmates. It is no wonder that these high risk kids are failing, but I'm still pressured to change their grades and make everything better for the people who are criminal in their behavior. I don't doubt that my next conversation with my P will have something to do with me "not taking it to heart" and "relaxing more" so I don't make a stink.
    The irony of the whole situation is that the SPED population of our HS (a whopping 30% of our kids) are the ones who put forth the effort and who are passing their courses.
    I agree with those of you who refuse to compromise your morals for a job-you can move to another state if need be. I moved 2000 miles for this position and I will move another 2000 this summer if it means that I can teach and maintain my ethics as a teacher. (I just can't quit as of today) If I don't have them, and parents and Ps obviously don't, then what does that leave tomorrow's leaders with?
     
  18. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Mar 7, 2009

    In what part of AZ do you teach?
    I know of some Principals who have lost their job for changing a student's grades
     

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