On Tuesday, we got a frantic e-mail from Danielle's homeroom teacher. She reported that Danielle was failing Mr. S's class. She had been instructed to bring her book home that night (which she didn't do) and that there was no possible way that she could get caught up at school. We told Danielle that she needed to bring her book home the following night, and she needed to get caught up, or there would be dire consequences.
Wednesday afternoon, she brought her book home and claimed that all her assignments were done. FosterEema wrote a note to Mr. S, asking him to call and verify that all the missing work had been turned in.
Mr. S. called this morning and reported that Danielle was still missing three assignments, but that her grade had been brought up to a passing mark. FosterEema called the homeroom class and spoke to an aide who reported that one of the three missing assignments had been turned in and they were working on the remaining two, which should be finished today.
So it seems there's a pretty big communication problem here, and there are several things that I don't understand:
- Why, given that Danielle is in a special program for mentally and behaviorally challenged kids, did the school wait until she was eight assignments behind before notifying us?
- Why did the homeroom teacher represent the situation as being impossible to rectify at school, when clearly it is being taken care of at school?
- Why are we getting different stories from everybody? I can understand why Danielle might lie, but why is it that we are hearing different information from the various teachers?
So basically, if parents make a donation of a certain dollar amount, kids get enough extra credit points to bring them up a full grade letter.
I was shocked. Money for grades?
"I'll take it under advisement, as to whether or not we can afford to make a donation," I told Mr. S., "but if we do make a donation, Danielle should not be given extra credit for it. I believe that grades should be earned, not bought."
Mr. S. seemed surprised at my reaction. He tried to explain that he offered students a variety of ways to earn extra credit in his class.
"Extra credit I have no problem with," I replied, "if that extra credit is based on work."
I was shocked. I am still shocked.
Frankly, I'm surprised that students are allowed to turn work in so late and still get credit for it. Back in my day, teachers would take a full letter grade off of your assignments for each day something was late, unless you had made prior arrangements, or had a valid medical excuse. Now, it seems kids can turn things in late, right up to the end of the grading period, and it doesn't matter.
Now kids can buy their grades, if Mommy and Daddy will just write a check.
What is school coming to these days?
Administrative Note: This post was edited after its original posting to clarify that Danielle's teacher was soliciting cash donations in exchange for extra credit points.