St. Louis area schools see rise in failing grades amid pandemic | 'A dramatic change'
By - PeddlerOfMisery
I think it’s also important to remember kids mental heath. I have a 6th grader and a 1st grader and the past 15 months have been so hard on them mentally and emotionally. From school abruptly ending last spring to fearing hanging out with friends to going back to school in person with masks and so many rules and the seemingly endless quarantines because they were exposed to another kid who tested positive. I can’t fault kids for “checking out”. It’s been rough.
Schools tough man. I think a lot of people just write off kids as being so resilient to anything but this was a weird thing to happen that not only caught kids by surprise but teachers too. I feel for em
What is weird is not every district has the same trend. A few have nearly the same rates compare to before the pandemic.
Would be more interesting if there was data for every district in the area and across the states.
We have friends in districts that are showing improvement during the pandemic. Parents there have reported that tests are open book, open notes. I'm sure that there are other "accomodations" that are helping students keep their grades up, but failing them when it comes to actual learning.
As a teacher, believe it or not this is not necessarily a bad thing (even though it makes me sound like a jerk to say that). Hear me out:
We want an educated populace and we also want to - as teachers - instill the value of hard work. If you take a look at the teacher subreddit (and my own anecdotal experiences), many students this year as opposed to previous years are putting in NO effort. This is NOT because teachers are making it harder on the students nor is it because the workload has stayed the same (I think all teachers would agree that we are making DRAMATIC changes to accommodate students during this difficult time). Workload have drastically decreased, accommodations have drastically increased.
Yet many students just don’t “show up” - sometimes literally - to Zoom or hybrid classes.
So what do teachers do? Pass them unnecessarily or fail them? If we want to maintain some integrity in the educational system and - most importantly - ensure that they are ready for the next level of education, you just have to fail them.
The scary thing is that many will look at this headline and come up with alternative views: teachers are lazy, schools aren’t understanding the struggle during a pandemic, students might not have access to high quality internet and this is all the reason why students are struggling.
I can assure you, every possible accommodation has been made. Unfortunately, sometimes students have to fail because the teachers/schools love the students too much to pass them.
Now let me prepare for the downvotes.
I'm not going to downvote you, as I don't believe that you are wrong. I also believe that it is unfair to say that "every possible accommodation has been made " I assure you that I believe that is true in YOUR classroom. As a mother of six children, I just don't see this everywhere. We live in a highly rated district and my children are great students, but I often see where teachers are out due to illness or exposure. The substitutes don't know what is going on. My sophomore daughter has been quarantined 3x due to "possible exposure." The zoom classes were a joke. She ended up dropping a computer course because the modules had to be completed in the classroom. They didn't work on the chrome books. I'm not ripping on teachers as a whole, but like anything, there are tiers. Thank you for your dedication.
Absolutely! You're right that I shouldn't have generalized *so* much.
However, I was really more thinking about the sub-context of this headline: students are failing and what is the reason? Many people would argue everything *except* the students. What I am saying is that, sometimes, there is a really simple explanation: students didn't work. It makes me sad, but sometimes it is indeed the truth.
I get your point that these failures aren’t necessarily the result of teachers’ or schools’ policies (it just is what it is given online learning during a pandemic). I also get that the least bad option many times is giving the student a failing grade. Where you lose me is when you say this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It isn’t necessarily a bad thing because we have to consider alternatives: when you fail a student, they have to do summer school in which they can still get the requisite knowledge to succeed in future education.
By passing them, you are essentially saying “you aren’t ready for the next step, but good luck anyway!”
As a side note, failing students is one of the worst parts of my job. NO teacher enjoys doing it and - in fact - many teachers will pass students just to not face inevitable backlash. It’s like firing someone from a job I’d imagine.
I’ll not downvote you (gave ‘ya an upvote actually!) but in my district, “virtual school” consisted of nothing more than Google Classroom (which is not actually a learning platform, as I’m sure you know) and teachers were given **zero** training on how to use it. Because teachers were left flying blind, students were too (for the most part) and it took me **weeks** of emailing proof of assignments completed on time to prove my (very independently motivated) student was doing his work when teachers were saying he wasn’t. The admins response to that situation with my kid and others was legit “we’re gonna hotline these kids because their parents aren’t making them do the work.”
I get what you’re saying and I truly appreciate folks like you enduring what I know you have throughout this but I did want to share an anecdote to kinda push back on the “every possible accommodation has been made” narrative. I’m SURE that may be true in some cases but in our case we WERE showing up but were threatened with being hotlined all because the district instituted a bullshit system and didn’t support teachers or students in understanding it’s limitations or even how to use it to check that students were participating.
(To be clear, I’m not maligning the teachers even in our fucked up district. They were as helpful as they could’ve been but when a parent has to spend weeks sending screenshots and assignments to prove work was done **on top** of the work done actually being turned in, there’s an issue (and I assume that issue probably affected a lot of kids in other rural districts who set up the same “system” we had). Had I not been privileged and lucky enough to work from home with the time to do that, my kid would’ve been hotlined and failed despite doing everything he was supposed and in the exact way the school directed.)
Great insight. I also work at a school, although not as a teacher, and you really nailed it. There are quite a few students at our school who have chosen the virtual option and fallen completely off the face of the earth.
I’m curious how the school dealt with “students falling off the face of the earth”? (Not being combative, I’m genuinely curious! 🙂)
I can't speak to the above poster's school, but at my school we did everything from delivering materials to the student, to calling home every time they didn't show up to online class, to having inviting parents to weekly virtual meetings. Unfortunately, there is a strong correlation between a student's level of engagement and his/her parent's level of engagement.
You were very happy that you got to stay home for a year and do the bare minimum as grades plummeted.
lol oh geez.
I’m not going to take the bait on that one. This comment shows a pretty rudimentary understanding of teaching. As an aside, my school went in person in August. It must feel good to act like you know what you’re talking about with an internet stranger though!
I think I we should defund teachers. And bust up the teacher unions. No government worker should have a union
i suspected the pandemic would show the truth about which parents are actively involved in their kids education, and which are just giving lip service.
Big duh energy.
What is up Ferguson-Florissant failure rate before the pandemic?
How the heck were 1/4 of their high school students failing 2 classes?
Worst numbers than St. Louis City for same school year.
No one could have predicted this! (we predicted this)
As it turns out, Maybe teachers really are essential and should have been in the schools teaching our children the entire time...
Who could've predicted this?!