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The student handbook for my school states that any student with a grade of 69 or lower will be assigned mandatory tutoring.  The staff handbook states that any student with a grade of 69 or lower will be assigned mandatory tutoring.

The first 20 minutes of the school day is set aside as “mastery learning” time.  This is when students go to tutoring.  The math department can “reserve” a student on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We turn in a list every week with the names of the kids we’ve assigned to tutoring.

Most teachers have 25+ kids who should be in tutoring.  25+ kids/20 minutes doesn’t give much time for real tutoring.

I make myself available one hour before school and one hour after school every day.  If a kid’s grade falls below 70 they have to serve 40 minutes sometime during the week.  They can do one 40 minutes stretch or 10 minutes a day for 4 days, whatever.

Because of my flexible schedule for tutoring most of the kids who need the extra help spend a considerable more time in tutoring than 40 minutes.

 Not all teachers do any tutoring other than the mastery learning time.  They have complained that they can’t do any real tutoring with so many kids.  The administration told us last September to only assign mandatory tutoring for kids who are failing, maybe someday we’ll be able to catch the kids with D’s, but not now.

Whatever.  I still assign tutoring for kids with a 69 or lower.

I get a note in my box yesterday from my AP.  She wants me to stop by her office during my planning to discuss my tutoring list.

She starts the meeting by congratulating me on my failure rate.  First semester 8.3% of my students failed (the average for the math department is a little more than 25%.  I’m not sure if that is an indictment on the quality of teaching, or the quality of our students, but it is what it is…).  She wants to know why I have 29 names on my tutoring list if only 10 students are failing.

Because I have 19 students with D’s.

We don’t place students with D’s in tutoring.  That is only for failing students.

That’s not what the handbooks say.

You know we changed that.

I don’t know why though.  You do realize that a student needs to score 70 or better to pass the state tests, right?

There are too many students failing to worry about the D students.  [yes, that is an exact quote]

My failure rate is so low because I expect my kids to make a 70.  Kids work up, or down, to your expectations.  You used to teach, you know that.

It doesn’t matter.  Quit assigning kids who are passing to tutoring.

Really?  Lower my standards.  That’s what you’re telling me?

I’m telling you to quit assigning tutoring to kids who are passing.  You’re making the other teachers look bad.


God forbid I try to make a difference.


  1. Awwwwwwww, hellllll nawww!

    Can I get her phone number? Because I’d really like to tell her, “No. HE is not making the other teachers look bad. THE OTHER TEACHERS are making THEMSELVES look bad. Perhaps if they’d get off their whiney-keisters and, hmmm I don’t know…TEACH…then their failure rates wouldn’t be causing them embarassment!!”

    So uhhhhhhh, can I get that number? 😉

  2. Well, Ms. H. already said everything I wanted to say. Oh, except for – WTF?!?

  3. I think I’m gonna barf. So let’s see – YOU are the one assigning tutoring. YOU are the one doing the tutoring. The STUDENT benefits. No where in that equation does the principal or other teachers figure in. Wait – isn’t a higher pass rate the point?

    Yeah, I bet you always threw off the curve when you were a kid too, huh? *lol*

  4. What?! I have actually had administrators tell us that it’s not uncommon for Gifted Students to fail. I really don’t understand any of this. I really don’t get it.

  5. Wow. And I thought being a good teacher meant helping the kids, not helping the other staff look better!! Sickening.

  6. response by me to supposed notification “put it in writing. When is the next school board meeting?.”

  7. Actually I am dreading my AP looking at my passing rates for the same reason. I have repeater classes, most are supposed to be failing but I passed at least 80% of them. He will be pissed!

  8. How dare you? You good teachers with those ethics and darn morals are the downfall of the mediocre society we all hope to dwell in.

    Just found your blog through JD2718 – love it. Thanks and hope to read more.

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