Sunday, June 17, 2007

Diploma

di·plo·ma /dɪˈploʊmə/ Pronunciation noun, plural -mas, Latin -ma·ta /-mətə/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[-muh-tuh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, verb, -maed, -ma·ing.
–noun

a document given by an educational institution conferring a degree on a person or certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed a course of study.


On Saturday, I might have seen a number of kids that failed my required class walk in the graduation ceremony. I could be totally wrong, and I might have been suffering from heat stroke at the time (black robe in 90 degree heat will do that).

I take pride that students feel that my class is hard. One high level student stated on the teacher report card, "This class is pretty tough for being a non-AP level class".

Good.

I have students that worked their ass off, I'm talking WORK THEIR ASS OFF, to pass my class. They end up receiving that diploma and they are proud that they successfully beat down one of the harder, more challenging classes at Ukiah High School.

Yet here's a question, purely hypothetical of course; what makes a couple of teachers feel that because they hold the classification of instructors that deal with students with special needs that they can simply overrule 10 months of instruction and hand out diplomas like they are worthless? Doesn't that demean the idea of a diploma, or even the concept of education? This is again, hypothetical.

Here's little information for all the teachers in the world: A student that misses a third of class probably hasn't met all the requirements to successfully pass said class, no matter what classification they are. Also, simply sitting in class and doing nothing does not classify as "meeting the basic requirements for accomplishing academic standards". Furthermore, I have yet to find an IEP with the following modifications:
1. Student may miss class because he/she has job, has other things going on, or is lazy.
2. Student may create a class disturbance because you should expect less out of a student with special needs.
3. Student will be handed a diploma because someone feels sorry for the student.

By the way, the passing rate for students with IEP's in my class is well above 90%.

And those students actually earn it.
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