Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Very little consequence

Blue Valley is one of the best school districts in the country. I'd hate to see what they do at a shitty school district like KCMO.

I've had a few frustrations recently.

I wrote about lunch recently. God love knee jerk Sarah Palin recently who said government should stay out of the school lunch program and said it is the parents job. Shouldn't I be able to send my kid to school and not think that it is there they are eating the worst meal of their day? Why do they need chocolate milk? Why do they need fried potatoes at practically every meal? I don't like the increase in spending but I do support this new law. I would have found a way to do it without increasing entitlements.

Anyway, I'm on to something else today. Here are things I've had to learn about this year.

  • The Oops Pass. Each teacher gives kids a defined number of oops passes per semester. An oops pass is what they fill out when they "forget" their homework or when they flat out don't do it. They fill it out and submit it with their work. They get several per class. Then they get full credit for that work.

  • Late Work Slip. If they are out of oops passes they bring home a late work slip which they write why they screwed up, their plan to solve the problem and the teacher includes their "punishment". I put the word "punishment" in quotes because it really isn't punishment but an after school thing that they won't call detention. When this form is filled out and attached to the work they still get full credit for it. Parents must sign this form.

  • Re-do. Now, if they whiff on a test and their grade is bad the kids often get a chance to retake the test. Some teachers offer full credit on the retake but most don't.

My kid can't spell yet there are no spelling tests. They teach them to read phonetically and then we are surprised that they spell that way too. My kid thinks I'm a huge asshole because I make her look up words she spells wrong but if I don't nobody else will.

My kid mostly doesn't hold a pencil correctly yet when I ask the teacher about it I get a blank stare. My kid thinks I'm a complete asshole because I make her hold a pencil correctly. They don't care about teaching this and they certainly don't care about letter formation and penmanship. My kid's writing looks like she writes with a rock on the driveway.

You might be surprised to know my kid got all A's and one B last report card. I'm not impressed.

When I was a kid when your work was late a nice teacher would let you turn it in late for partial credit. Most teachers wouldn't accept it at all.

At school they learn very few consequences for not getting stuff done on time or right. When will they start learning this stuff? Life is like snow skiing. If you want to get better you have to fall down trying harder runs.

Most parents put their head in the sand and smile when they see the report card. My kid is smart. All A's and B's. Right. Brilliant. The kids are smart. Smart enough to know we are too stupid to understand they are playing us. Smart enough to realize that most parents will go after a teacher when their kid doesn't do well instead of demanding their kiddo hunker down and do better. Keep pretending Blue Valley.

I have a huge presentation tomorrow. People are flying in from several states to attend this meeting. If I don't do well and am not prepared will they all come back when I show up and hand them an Oops Pass? Don't think so.


SOB said...

We have two kids in BVSD and I couldn't agree more. Wait until you see the way they teach math now.

Anonymous said...

Public schools are incredibly screwed up dude. No shock. Teacher's unions keep them from performing well.

Anonymous said...

I can't even begin to describe how things are here in KCMSD. I am a teacher and this is the most disgusting year I have been a part of. The "transformation" plan to improve the schools is simply that...a plan on paper...they have NOT..even though some media outlets report improvement...implemented the promises they have made. It isn't the teachers union fault...I am guessing you just watched Waiting for Superman to get your facts. Teachers are part of the problem...but in KCMSD it is more the leadership, or lack thereof, that makes this ghetto district a piece of crap.

Anonymous said...

A teacher in the union says it isn't the union's fault. ok. shocker. Haven't seen that Superman movie yet but I've heard it is heartbreaking and I plan to see it.