Lord Crimson

Wisdom from the Realm

How Bad Schools Remain Bad

with 10 comments

Several weeks into his first year of teaching math at the High School of Arts and Technology in Manhattan, Austin Lampros received a copy of the school’s grading policy. He took particular note of the stipulation that a student who attended class even once during a semester, who did absolutely nothing else, was to be given 45 points on the 100-point scale, just 20 short of a passing mark.

Mr. Lampros’s introduction to the high school’s academic standards proved a fitting preamble to a disastrous year. It reached its low point in late June, when Arts and Technology’s principal, Anne Geiger, overruled Mr. Lampros and passed a senior whom he had failed in a required math course.
She had not even shown up to take the final exam. She did, however, attend the senior prom.
“It’s almost as if you stick to your morals and your ethics, you’ll end up without a job,” Mr. Lampros said in an interview. “I don’t think every school is like that. But in my case, it was.”

Here’s why. You’ll notice it’s not about the students.

They also describe a principal worried that the 2006 graduation rate of 72.5 percent would fall closer to 50 or 60 percent unless teachers came up with ways to pass more students.

What does the mother think, do you even need to ask?

Samantha Fernandez, Indira’s mother, spoke on her behalf. “My daughter earned everything she got,” she said. Of Mr. Lampros, she said, “He needs to grow up and be a man.”

Read entire article:

A Teacher Grows Disillusioned After a ‘Fail’ Becomes a ‘Pass’


Written by Lord Crimson

August 3, 2007 at 7:51 pm

10 Responses

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  1. Bad leaders in the schools.

    Bad parenting.

    What do we expect?


    August 3, 2007 at 11:52 pm

  2. Hi Neil

    This particular event has enough blame to go around with no fix in sight. The public school system has clearly been on a downward spiral since the government acquired greater control. The future looks bleak in this area.


    Lord Crimson

    August 4, 2007 at 12:43 am

  3. government control sucks doesn’t it! yet so many want more and more of it! So frustrating. I will be homeschooling unless God shows me other-wise.

    I have been reading this book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud. We have become a culture of enablement. As a result we are causing those who are responsible to reap what the irresponsible are sowing. Will whole generations be raised not understanding the simple reaping and sowing concept. Yes. Unless a miracle happens. I don’t even know what that would look like. For some reason Love has become interperted as making sure no one suffers a consequence. How deceptive is the enemy?!!! That is not the truth at all. Consequences can be loving when the soul is at risk. Consequences save us.


    August 5, 2007 at 3:48 pm

  4. “was to be given 45 points on the 100-point scale, just 20 short of a passing mark.”

    Does that mean if you score 55 points they enter a grade of 100? These kids are all geniuses and will get into Harvard or MIT even. We have solved the education problem here in America. HOORAY! …and to think I thought it was Teacher Unions and poor parenting………..steve 🙂

    Next Stop Lauderdale

    August 5, 2007 at 7:21 pm

  5. Hi mz

    The way some of the public school systems have deteriorated, homeschooling is a definite advantage. I wish you the best with that.

    The reap what you sow principle is always in play and will only deviate from the norm for a short while. When it finally corrects itself I have no doubt that it will get pretty ugly.

    I remember where I grew up it all started to come apart when busing was introduced. It destroyed a safe, structured and familiar learning environment and turned it into chaos.

    Kids you had grown up with were no longer there. The ironic thing about it was I remember how people still broke up into their particular racial groups. It’s just a fact of human nature that people hang-out and gravitate toward those they have the most in common with. You can’t legislate that away.

    I didn’t get it then and I don’t get it now. Judging from the decline of the public school system they don’t get it either.

    Lord Crimson

    August 5, 2007 at 9:53 pm

  6. Hi LC,

    This sort of thing is exactly why we spent more than enough money to buy a really great sports car sending our child to private schools. Oh, and that doesn’t count the taxes we were still forced to contribute toward keeping our local union teachers living the good life while not contributing any measurably worthwhile contribution either toward education the local children or to society at large.

    On the other hand, my first high school math teacher was a year or two over 70, had a real talent for explaining mathematics, and a habit of hurling chalk board erasers at anyone in his class who was either disruptive or displayed that they weren’t keeping up with their studies. For a man of his age, or even for a younger man, he had amazing accuracy and considerable power behind his pitches. Of course, if he started teaching today, he would quickly find himself in prison. Which is a great shame, since he made some of the most unruly students realize that, with a bit of concentration, they could actually enjoy learning something new.

    the Grit

    the Grit

    August 5, 2007 at 10:00 pm

  7. Hi Steve

    The no child left behind goal seems a little rigged when students begin with a 45 point head start.

    I suppose it’s only natural that it would come to this and that the school administrators motives are now more mercenary. The government has ruled out any discipline as an option for teachers to keep order and if attempted are rewarded with a lawsuit. I imagine the frustration point has long since reached the past caring point.


    Lord Crimson

    August 5, 2007 at 10:42 pm

  8. Hi Grit

    I remember that guy! As you were standing outside the classroom watching the other class file out there would always be that one student with the distinctive eraser of shame tattooed across the front of his shirt.

    I would be hard-pressed to give you a reason why you should waste money on a kids education when you could just as easily be cruising around in a really great sports car. 🙂


    Lord Crimson

    August 5, 2007 at 11:24 pm

  9. Hi LC,

    Well, said expensively educated child is just about to enter law school, on a full scholarship I should add, and I have an extensive list of people and organizations I wish to sue on the cheap. Thus, I consider our outlay for his schooling to be a long term investment 🙂

    As to shared teachers, it would tickle me to no end if our paths had crossed at some time in the past.

    As to sports cars, they’re not worth the money around here anymore, too many police and too much traffic. Really, there are not too many things more disappointing that being behind the wheel of a vehicle which is capable of running at sustained speeds of over 150 mph, while being stuck in traffic that is averaging less than one mile per hour. Thus, at this time, my vehicular fantasies lean more toward obtaining a “monster truck” and some really good insurance, than something which can out run the cops on the open road.

    the Grit

    the Grit

    August 7, 2007 at 9:57 pm

  10. Hi Grit

    On no say it ain’t so… not another lawyer! Just kidding. He should come in handy and I hope will at least charge you a reasonable rate.

    You and I in the same school, that would have been great. Every school seems to have had at least one of those teachers. Actually mine was a history teacher with the accuracy of Sandy Koufax. I remember one instance where a basketball player was talking during a lecture when suddenly an eraser went zooming his way. Well having received many such attacks in the past this time he did a little turn in his desk and the eraser hit the girl sitting behind him in the forehead. To this day I can still see that girls face and hear the laughter that followed. For some reason I never saw him throw another eraser. Tragic.

    Lord Crimson

    Lord Crimson

    August 8, 2007 at 2:54 am

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