Secretary of Education Arne Duncan likes to boast of the success of the turnaround model, in which the principal is fired along with at least half the staff or the school is closed. “We can’t wait,” say the reformers. Here is a report from a turnaround school.
This email came today from a high school math teacher in a “turnaround” school:
Pushing teachers to pass everyone is a widespread practice now. Anyone who has more than a 15% failure rate in a class, not hard to do in math, is called downstairs and asked to explain what the problem is. At this time of decision about who will be back next year, many see fit to pass almost everyone to stay off the radar and be asked to return.
The new principal issues orders which are often contract violations but no one challenges her because they need to work. I hope you understand how hard it is to do this. If you know Ms. XXXXXX, please don’t tell her I said any of this. There used to be a television show, “Dallas.” Oilman JR Ewing’s famous line:”Once you lose your integrity, the rest is a piece of cake” is really how it is now. Hoping the State will kill the turnaround model. It’s not helping anyone. All of this is confidential. Like others, family needs to be cared for.
Grade inflation, score inflation, and social promotion all in one package. As Secretary Duncan used to say, ” We have to stop lying to our children.”
No wonder college remediation rates remain stubbornly high. Some success.