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Before I Get On My Jet Plane …

by Jose Vilson on March 29, 2007

I’m going to Detroit, and of course, I’ll post pictures when I come back from my excursion. Some food for thought, though:

Over the last week, I’ve been grading math state exams for the region (region = Upper Manhattan / Bronx), and it’s been nothing short of frustrating. While we found that many of the classes prepared their classes well for the exam, we also found an alarming set of kids that didn’t know what they were doing. What’s more, some of them refused to take the test mainly because they were being subjected to a standard they had no control over. It’s a frustrating double standard we hold kids like that to.

This discussion didn’t even come from the student himself, but from the teachers grading the kid. I thought to myself today just how many people need to see teachers grading other schools’ exams. We can hear the applause when a kid gets a perfect score on the exam, the snaps and the oohs when the kid comes a few points close to perfect, and the sighs when they’re closer to zero.

That sort of realization is painful for teachers who care (and despite what some of your experiences might have been, 95% of the teachers in that testing room care deeply about the students they see). This random sample of teaching asked to grade these exams have countless stories about their kids, and how at every stage of their career, the kids came first, even when they were at their most violent.

I know this is a very pro-teacher blog, but honestly, there aren’t enough. I’m just doing my job. Wish me luck, my people, and peace …

jose, who’s ready to throw some d’s on it …

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