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Topic: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts


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Subject:   RE: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts
Author: rabeldin
Date: Jun 7 2005
My entire teaching career was spent working with students whose credentials
would lead one to think they had learned some basics but whose performance put
the lie to that conclusion. This deception is a bigger issue than whether Johnny
can multiply 6 times 13. It is an artefact of a grading and promotion system
that has built-in conflicts of interest, opportunities for both deceit by
students and intimidation  by teachers.

It is time to forget what the paper credentials say. Every teacher of a
cumulative material like mathematics should have the authority to reject (or
place on probation) students for lack of proper pre-requisites. Admission to a
class on false grounds is a lie that administrations, teachers and students tell
each other and to parents and the community because they haven't the courage to
tell the truth.

A much better system would be that all students are admitted to all classes on
probation. The teacher would then define criteria for removal of that stigma.
Students wouldn't spend a whole term hoping to pass a course by a miracle.

But no, we would rather tell ourselves pretty stories than face the truth.

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