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Grades a mark of mastery? Or simply an indication that the student was present and breathing? February 6, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Education.

OK, I cannot find the original post.  But if you look around Mamacita’s excellent blog The Scheiss Weekly you just may stumble upon it.

Specifically, an excellent rant on the entitlement parents feel nowadays in meddling in the grades of their students.

The primary gist of the article was revolving around an unusually spineless public school principal who caved to the demands of a rich dentist parent to allow his kid’s clearly plagiarized paper to stand as a legitimate piece of work, thereby allowing his kid to stay in the running for valedictorian.  Which this cheating kid eventually won.

Then some months later, the spineless principal did the exact same thing, this time with the kid of the school district’s lawyer.  Exact same scenario; this kid also got to make the valedictory to his class.

Obviously, the only lesson these kids have learned is that one may cheat and get away with it.  No character formation took place; no benefit of one’s own hard work was obtained.  The kids in question were both rewarded for stealing.

I would be curious to see how the district lawyer would react when his kid is apprehended for stealing his favorite CD from Hastings.  Probably get the charges dismissed.

Why am I writing this?

Because we have a kid at the school I work at who struggles- mightily- with the work of the school.  Part of this is due to his poor listening skills.  Part of it is also due to the fact that he simply isn’t the brightest bulb in the light string.  But unlike other kids, he does not work hard enough to overcome this deficiency.  He relies more upon a combination of a)  winning smile and b) a seemingly cultivated persona of a lovable fool, hoping that both will excuse him come grade time.  And when all else fails, he c) calls in his parents.
Well, it didn’t work for him this past semester, as he did fail a class.  Finding that a and b had failed him, this fellow resorted to c.

And the parents came in, not discussing what the kids could do to make up his work.  They opened with arguing with the principal about how some teachers didn’t LIKE their little boy, and how he did not like some of them.  Then -the story goes- they finished with stating that grades are all important, and demanded that the grade be changed to a passing grade, with no additional work on the part of the kid.

My principal, a man of short temper, unpredictable behavior and substantial backbone, pretty much told them to forget it, that wasn’t going to happen.

So, in the end, they withdrew the kid.

In fairness, I must state that I was not present when these demands were made, so it is possible that the representation of the parents above is not correct

But the real sad part is that it can so easily BE correct in this degenerate Age of Enablement that we currently live in.   We no longer live in a West where the children are held accountable.  Instead, Boomer parents, accustomed to having their every whining need met without effort, believe their children need ot be raised in the same fashion, one devoid of personal responsibilty.

It is through these quiet, seemingly insignificant tussles that the Republic eventually doomed itself.



1. The Village Idiot - February 6, 2007

Sad. Very Sad. But it brings to mind that many of my fellow college students (myself included) often depend on our attendence/participation grades to be the difference between a “B” and an “A.” And it works. On the flip side, I have also had teachers who dock your grade if you are more than 5 minutes late more than a specified number of times.

Though I would like to think that as a student at a private college, and as a student trying to engage in advanced intellectual activity, my grades are a reflection of my growth, work, and prowess, I do admit that more often I do so well simply becuase I participate in class on a daily basis; and I am frustrated by teachers who mark me down based on attendance and tardiness.

2. demolition65 - February 6, 2007

That is one thing. The difference between an “A” and “B” is much different than a failing grade and a “C-”

NOw, as far as attendance goes. . .in college, my professors were dangerously Darwinian in their approach. “Go ahead and skip”, they said. “But if you miss a key discussion, I may knock you down for not taking part. You may well suffer come test time, but that’s your problem.”

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