News and Tribune


August 12, 2013

CUMMINS: Show me your report card


One Latin teacher gave all A’s to make her students feel good and they did. For extra credit, a science teacher told a failing student to bring some tree leaves to class, but he forgot. A government teacher assigned a boring government book to a senior to read so he could graduate. Two hours later, the student said he had read it.  Most all A students usually get a B in gym class, whereupon the school board suggests that the teacher see if Brains can run around the track once.

Who fails — students, schools, society or governments?

Why not have the government test its citizens, or at least, its schools — A to F? Indiana does. Teachers once taught children, but now must teach answers to tests, tests, tests. If life is a test to determine success or failure, schools must be the same. Indiana’s expert educators sit in an office and give grades, based on what? Good schools receive A and blue ribbons; bad schools receive F and state takeover. The difference between success and failure in anything is often the width of a hair, but accepting mediocrity is not the Indiana or American way. You and the schools should be held accountable to your state. You can pass this test by having your children pass their tests, or you can donate money to officials to help them raise standards. 

When the state of Indiana decided to grade its schools, they didn’t realize the impact money and politics had. When an elite Indiana charter school that had donated large sums of money to state politicians, received a C, money and unemployment hit the fan. The State-Head teacher sent alarming emails out to his competent staff urging them to think. They did, and it only took two key strokes on the state computer to change C to A. Is this the way the system works? Yes, but educating children and graduating students should be above politics. 

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