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08-02-2012, 09:45 AM
 3,644 posts, read 10,945,479 times Reputation: 5514

One of my daughter's friends has been staying with us, for the summer and continuing on through for the first couple months of school.

I am PISSED at the "teachers" she has had... how DARE they call themselves "teachers"?!

This girl is about to start 5th grade. She failed math last year (only the final semester) and so had to go to summer school for June. She got a 91% average in summer school, which led me to believe that laziness and her home life were responsible for her failing math (not her guardian's fault, situational).

I now know that to be not true.

I start my kids on math worksheets 3-4 weeks before school starts up - nothing difficult, just refresher stuff to keep their brains from turning to complete jello.

My daughter's friend was in her class last year. Her friend will be in the EXACT SAME math class as my daughter this year. This is not good news.

This 11 year old still uses her fingers to count (even up to 10). She does not know Roman Numerals, much less their rules. Forget about multiplication and division. My daughter does not 'fly through' these things, but the gap in between their knowledge is significant. Keep in mind this girl has a recorded 91% for 4th grade math, and as such was awarded "honors". My daughter got an 82%. Respectable, but no honors. But my daughter can add 10 + 10 without using her fingers. I'm not exaggerating.

By the time school begins again, I will have this girl caught up with addition and subtraction, as well as Roman Numerals, fractions, multiplication and division. She's not dumb - she's actually VERY smart.

But there is NO WAY she passed any test. I do not have a teaching degree. I will be homeschooling my son this year and have gotten those smug looks and remarks from teachers about how his education will suffer without a "real" teacher.

As evidenced by this girl's knowledge, none of the kids in this school district have any "real" teachers either.

This makes me sick! How do they give a kid a 91% in 4th grade math that still cannot add? She had NO IDEA about multiplication - I started with the 2s, but we had to go back to the 0s and 1s - she picked them up quickly, but SERIOUSLY?! She's 11!!!

Now, I understand that none of the "teachers" here on CD would EVER let this pass and this does not happen with THEIR students, but I am SICKENED by this and have NO RESPECT for the 4 "teachers" she had for the 4th grade, or the 2 she had for summer school. I'm going to have to show this to dh tonight - we may just need to homeschool our daughter too.

This is how these kids are getting left behind... the teachers are handing them grades and NOT TEACHING.

Last edited by sskkc; 08-02-2012 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: Sarcasm unnecessary - the teachers on CD are hopefully not the ones employed by our ISD

08-02-2012, 10:13 AM
 Location: Space Coast 1,988 posts, read 5,388,056 times Reputation: 2768
Quote:
 Originally Posted by sskkc This is how these kids are getting left behind... the teachers are handing them grades and NOT TEACHING.
This is exactly true, and sadly, your friend's situation is way too common. BUT the heart of the problem lies more with the policy makers and administrators residing in their back pockets who seem to think that every kid should be a winner and that none should be 'left behind' (retained).

If we want to fix our problems with education, we need to start with voting out the policy makers and the lobbyists.

08-02-2012, 10:43 AM
 Location: Suburbia 8,827 posts, read 15,329,864 times Reputation: 4533
I'm sorry, but I've read through the original post and I find it very confusing. It jumps around a lot. The girl, who is not your daughter, failed 4th grade math the final semester and attended summer school. It was in summer school that she received a 91%. She's now caught up with addition and subtraction, as well as Roman Numerals, fractions, multiplication and division, but there's no way she could have passed a test. Is this correct?

08-02-2012, 10:49 AM
 Location: Middle America 37,409 posts, read 53,618,516 times Reputation: 53074
Couple of different issues, here...

Re: the student's ability/your perception of her ability

Might she have a specific learning disability or processing difficulty? This is a possibility for children who are unable to calculate without using fingers, manipulatives or other visual cues. Having a specific learning disability doesn't have anything to do with "being smart/not being smart," and neither do processing issues.

Whether she is disabled or not, many students perform much better with individualized instruction, which is what you have been providing. Group instruction is not optimum for every learning style. Unfortunately, individualized education is very costly, and not something legally afforded to typical learners (if she did qualify for special services due to disability, and got an IEP, that would be another story).

The second issue is that, no, obviously a student with severe skill acquisition deficits should not be promoted without attention being given to whatever the appropriate level of remediation is. But this is an issue that may or may not lie with the teacher...it could lie with administration, special education department, school psychologist, any number of sources. When students aren't achieving and nothing is being done to address it, it's usually a systemic, organizational problem, versus the competency level of a singular teacher. Schools also vary on how they handle promotion...some are not prone to holding back at grade level, but will instead recommend a resource intervention to catch struggling students up.

I assume that if you are the child's guardian and were over the summer, you were involved in talks regarding the summer school curriculum? If so, are you aware of what was being taught, and how the grade/percentage was arrived at? If you're not the child's guardian, it's unlikely you'd be privy to any of her academic specifics.

08-02-2012, 12:35 PM
 Location: Great State of Texas 86,052 posts, read 84,548,114 times Reputation: 27720
Not the teacher as they can only follow the policy of the school. The teacher may not even be creating the tests.

I had 3 students last year that did 0 work, handed in 0 work and even cheated on the final and were sent to the office by me and had numerous office referrals for disrupting the class with their behavior. What was their final grade ? Why a 70. All three of them passed the class. Was that MY grade ? No it wasn't and there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

08-02-2012, 03:08 PM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Eresh This is exactly true, and sadly, your friend's situation is way too common. BUT the heart of the problem lies more with the policy makers and administrators residing in their back pockets who seem to think that every kid should be a winner and that none should be 'left behind' (retained). If we want to fix our problems with education, we need to start with voting out the policy makers and the lobbyists.
Amen. When my wife taught at the middle school, students had until the grading period to turn in late work before they got a zero. And there were also several "interventions" before this happened. And she couldn't penalize them for turning it in late. Its frustrating. It's not preparing them for the real world. Their teachers in HS, their professors in college and/or their employers won't tolerate it.

08-02-2012, 03:50 PM
 3,644 posts, read 10,945,479 times Reputation: 5514
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tgbwc I'm sorry, but I've read through the original post and I find it very confusing. It jumps around a lot. The girl, who is not your daughter, failed 4th grade math the final semester and attended summer school. It was in summer school that she received a 91%. She's now caught up with addition and subtraction, as well as Roman Numerals, fractions, multiplication and division, but there's no way she could have passed a test. Is this correct?
No, I have begun teaching her those things here at home, and am confident I will be able to catch her up by the time school starts in 3 1/2 weeks. She's really smart. She just hasn't been taught.

I don't know what they were grading her on in summer school - no homework ever came home. The cirriculum stated they worked on Roman Numerals, multiplication, decimals and fractions. Yet she did not know 0 x any number = 0. She did not know ANY of the Roman Numerals, she could not add 60 + 5 without her fingers (actual example from this morning) and when I gave her a worksheet yesterday adding fractions with like denominators, she used her fingers for the addition - AFTER I explained to her she just had to add across - not something she knew. She picked up on it all real quick. But has started both mornings in tears that she does not know these things. Today, I took her aside and explained that it ISN'T HER FAULT. I told her I would help her and get her caught up, but she has to try. She was eager and ready. She does great on the work after I TEACH her how to do the problems.

As I said, she received a GRADE, but no KNOWLEDGE at school.

08-02-2012, 04:03 PM
 3,644 posts, read 10,945,479 times Reputation: 5514
Quote:
 Originally Posted by TabulaRasa Couple of different issues, here... Re: the student's ability/your perception of her ability Might she have a specific learning disability or processing difficulty? This is a possibility for children who are unable to calculate without using fingers, manipulatives or other visual cues. Having a specific learning disability doesn't have anything to do with "being smart/not being smart," and neither do processing issues. Whether she is disabled or not, many students perform much better with individualized instruction, which is what you have been providing. Group instruction is not optimum for every learning style. Unfortunately, individualized education is very costly, and not something legally afforded to typical learners (if she did qualify for special services due to disability, and got an IEP, that would be another story). The second issue is that, no, obviously a student with severe skill acquisition deficits should not be promoted without attention being given to whatever the appropriate level of remediation is. But this is an issue that may or may not lie with the teacher...it could lie with administration, special education department, school psychologist, any number of sources. When students aren't achieving and nothing is being done to address it, it's usually a systemic, organizational problem, versus the competency level of a singular teacher. Schools also vary on how they handle promotion...some are not prone to holding back at grade level, but will instead recommend a resource intervention to catch struggling students up. I assume that if you are the child's guardian and were over the summer, you were involved in talks regarding the summer school curriculum? If so, are you aware of what was being taught, and how the grade/percentage was arrived at? If you're not the child's guardian, it's unlikely you'd be privy to any of her academic specifics.
At the beginning of the summer, we were just 'daycare' for her - helping her grandparents out by having her here, helping with getting her to/from the school while the grandfather was at work. She never came home with homework, but the letter that came from the school did say what they were working on each week - subjects that she did not obviously learn - and she says the Roman Numerals were 'new' to her. Although she's been in my daughter's class for the past two years (and I am aware that Roman Numerals were part of their cirriculum), she has had sporadic attendance, due to her home situation - which is why she failed; excessive absences - grandma couldn't find someone to care for her overnight and get her to school when grandpa was sent for training. (Her grandmother works/lives 3+ hours away - she has been unable to find work here since her husband got transferred here, so she only comes 'home' on the weekends).

I did see her report card, as she proudly showed it to me when I picked her up on her last day of school - and she passed each segment of the cirriculum, ending with a 91% average. The notes were full of "Great student!" "Awesome job!" and other cliches written by teachers with obviously no regard for helping a student vs passing a student. The administration did NOT tell them to write such inane things. Those notes, alongside those grades, are from the TEACHER.

This is a student who they have had in 'average' classroom settings - she has been alongside my daughter, all along. My daughter's grades on her homework are not reflected on her classwork or classroom tests. She excels at the state tests. I won't tolerate less than 100% on homework - either you know how to do it, or you try again. Homework is PRACTICE.

I spent my day since the OP registering my daughter for an at home charter school. When we did it before, in Colorado, my kids both did very well and have been begging to do it again, but I wasn't in a position to allow it again until this school year.

Individual attention may be key here - like I said, she's getting left behind. And I blame the teachers who KNEW, but gave her passing grades.

This is a kid who has had a really rough life. Getting passed isn't going to help her. Getting educated WILL.

08-02-2012, 04:04 PM
 2,612 posts, read 5,589,206 times Reputation: 3965
Quote:
 Originally Posted by sskkc No, I have begun teaching her those things here at home, and am confident I will be able to catch her up by the time school starts in 3 1/2 weeks. She's really smart. She just hasn't been taught. I don't know what they were grading her on in summer school - no homework ever came home. The cirriculum stated they worked on Roman Numerals, multiplication, decimals and fractions. Yet she did not know 0 x any number = 0. She did not know ANY of the Roman Numerals, she could not add 60 + 5 without her fingers (actual example from this morning) and when I gave her a worksheet yesterday adding fractions with like denominators, she used her fingers for the addition - AFTER I explained to her she just had to add across - not something she knew. She picked up on it all real quick. But has started both mornings in tears that she does not know these things. Today, I took her aside and explained that it ISN'T HER FAULT. I told her I would help her and get her caught up, but she has to try. She was eager and ready. She does great on the work after I TEACH her how to do the problems. As I said, she received a GRADE, but no KNOWLEDGE at school.
Well, if you're such a great teacher maybe you should become one and actually see what it's like. It's certainly possible she passed without knowing anything, but kids are very different in a classroom than they are one-on-one. You can't know for sure why she didn't learn anything all those years. You're making huge assumptions. I have worked one-on-one with incredibly troubled children and managed to teach them what they couldn't learn in a classroom - but I don't blame their teachers. They really couldn't be taught in a classroom and needed personal attention. However, with 25-30 kids to a class, a teacher can't give that kind of attention to any one child. Really, you shouldn't judge when you don't know the details.

08-02-2012, 04:08 PM
 Location: On the Chesapeake 45,452 posts, read 60,666,498 times Reputation: 61072
Why Roman Numerals?
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