13.12.13

YOUR JOB IS TO SAY NO AND UPHOLD STANDARDS.

It's examination season at most colleges and universities, and, with examination season, comes the special pleading.  Electronic mail has simply lowered the cost to students of revealing their lack of focus, and they exploit it.  Apparently, though, it is with the high schools that the expectation of automatic extensions and postponements originates.
Around here at the local HS, in an effort to keep graduation rates up, students are allowed to turn work in all the way up to the end of the term, and the teachers must accept it. They are allowed to retake tests.

This sets up an expectation on their end that college will be the same, and it's become my colleagues' and my aggravating job to become the brick wall they slam into their first semester in college. It sucks. I had a student tell me the first day of spring semester (as I was explaining my deadline policy) that they should be able to turn work in whenever. I kept my temper and said "Well, you can try that but you won't like the results." (The student flunked out of my class. Surprise.)
Within higher education, however, there are officials with the job description of antagonizing faculty by encouraging the placation of spoiled students.  Fortunately, the comments include encouragement of the faculty to push back.  "I tell [students] I am the brick wall (the first of many) they are going to run into if they don't get their shit together and take ownership of their education."

Now, if admissions officers would simply put some high schools on notice, "We will not admit any more students bearing your diploma until we have evidence that your graduates are competent."  Any contractor is going to stop doing business with a steel service center that keeps delivering Distressed Material that doesn't meet specifications.  The owner of such a steel service center doesn't have some lofty theory of oppression to enable his shortcomings.  Time to take those excuses away from the high schools.

No comments: