Thursday, August 27, 2009

Home-School Communication: Can We Talk?

I read an article about a change in the grading system in Memphis Public Schools. Basically, they've decided not to retain any kids in kindergarten through 4th grade, and they're replacing letter grades for the same group with spreadsheets for each student indicating mastery of content knowledge and skills. This checklist will follow the student from grade to grade. In addition, students who are not meeting grade-level benchmarks will receive targeted support.

To me, a teacher, this does not seem like such a radical plan, and to be honest I was a little disappointed that it wasn't more innovative. When I finished the main article, though, my eye fell upon the comments. There were over 300! I skimmed through the first few and then slowed down. I couldn't believe the outpouring of emotion from the citizens of Memphis. This comment sums up the general feeling:

This is absolutely, positively, ridiculously, bar-none the STUPIDEST God blessed thing I have ever heard of.

Let's not worry about fixing the problem, no! Let's just continue to lower standards and worry about children's "self esteem" rather than educating them to be able to function in the real world. We have employers who talk about how this generation of employees have the worst case of "gimme" they have ever seen, and we wonder why?? PATHETIC

I was shocked. Reading through several of the subsequent remarks showed me how little average citizens know about what happens at school and what an overall negative opinion they have of education in Memphis and in the U.S.

Gosh. Maybe I ought to rethink my Back-to-School-Night presentation.


  1. "they've decided not to retain any kids in kindergarten through 4th grade"

    What? Are they getting rid of them, then?

  2. retain, v. eduphemism for FLUNK