Monday, August 14, 2006

The Rating Game

I finally figured out why Pécan decided to shake things up by giving us new grade levels to teach this year. It hit me when I saw the school ratings for the district. In two short years Springwood Lakes High School went from the pinnacle of Superb status to the lowly moniker of Functional. First of all, what's with these titles? You've got such a superlative at one end of the spectrum and then try to be politically correct for the other end. What is being implied by Functional? Functional illiterates? Still functional after all of this? Functional psychosis? Why not just call it Not Different, Just Special?

Second, how is such a knee jerk reaction like shifting us around two weeks before school going to help the situation? I can just see Pécan saying, "This'll show everyone I'm doing something about this crisis. Plus, what's the difference? It's all English." Yes, it's all English, but I prefer to teach the stuff that I've read since being a freshman myself. And I wouldn't mind reading it now either, if I was given more than a two weeks head start. I can just see myself one step ahead of the kids on the reading assignments, or worse. Yes, I'll be in a mad dash to beat my students to Blockbuster, trying to get the last copy of... of... Crap! What do they read in Freshman English?!

Pécan encouraged teachers to share their old lesson plans with those that are following them. Sure because Mrs. Kilby, who is now teaching Seniors (a first for her) will have oodles of time to spare for walking me through this. Because we don't have umpteen staff meetings or have to set up our classrooms before the start of school. Wait a second...

Nope, it's every person for themselves! Very Lord of the Flies. Wait! I think I saw that on the reading list, no? And I may even remember that one from high school! Something about a pig's head on a stick, some broken glasses, and a shell you blow into real loud that calls all the Greasers and the Socs together?

Yeah, I'm sure all of us running around in a mad rush should certainly turn this ship around. At Least We're Not 'Functional' rating, here we come!

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