Please share your ideas for this concerned Mom! She sent this to me via email and wanted to post it if I thought you all could help, and I know you can. ---------------------------------------------------- My local public school is one of the top rated in the country. We live in an Upper Middle Class neighborhood in Houston with high parent participation, which to me partly defines an 'exceptional' school. Although I do not have a formal teacher's background, I have spent many years working with children as a Cub Scout Den Leader, Sunday School Teacher and Sports Team Mom. I have one 8-year-old son and I am an intense "hands on" parent. Through his short life thus far, this well mannered child has already proven himself to be exceptional in academics, music, athletics and is basically an 'all around' great American kid, which is what he strives to be. This year for 3rd grade, we were assigned a new teacher at our school. I don't know anything about her professional background except that she was formally a substitute teacher last year. When my son's first grades arrived, I was shocked to see a 50 grade. I immediately assumed that this was a mistake as my son had a 4.0 throughout the past, always an Honor Roll student. When I approached the teacher about this "mistake", I was informed that my son did not turn in an assignment on time. I was startled since I sit with him as he does his homework. Apparently, he and 12 other students in this class "did not follow directions" and they put their papers in the wrong bin. Consequently, this teacher marked the paper as not turned in and assigned all of the students a grade 50. As you know, it takes a lot of 100's to turn a 50 in to an 'A', so last week when Report Cards arrived, my son ended up with his first 85 ever as a Final Grade. Yesterday, his progress report arrived and he received a grade 64 as half of Math Grade. In reviewing the test, it turns out that he actually earned an 88; however, this teacher took off an additional 24 points because my son failed to put his name on the paper. "No Name - 24 points!" Combined with the only other grade for this class, he now has a 78 average, which is now a 'C'. It appears as though this teacher is more concerned with organization skills, such as following exact directions on assignments, putting names on papers and placing papers in the correct bin than the actual quality of work submitted by the student. Academic proficiency and understanding of a subject has become secondary to following the rules. She is literally teaching our kids to "think INSIDE the box", which I find petty, insensitive and demeaning. As result, my son now hates going to school. He tells me every morning that he doesn't feel well. This class is an emotional roller coaster and he never feels confident with his work until he sees the final issued grade. Apparently 12 children in this 'Gifted and Talented' Class, received 'D's and are currently on academic probation, so I am supposed to feel lucky that we only received 2 'B's. Numerous parents have approached our principal on the above concerns, but he does not seem to take notice. What recourse do I have as a parent? If all of our parents approach this collectively, what can we do to resolve this matter? Do we need to petition the Superintendent of the School District? The worse part of this entire scenario is that so many exceptional children are now so frustrated with attending 3rd grade. One obsessed teacher can do so much damage on our children in 9 months and impact their attitudes toward learning forever. Please help!!!