Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Irresponsible Parenting?

So, on Em's report card yesterday she had one "3", which is the first grade equivalent to what we used to call an "F" - in "Complete's homework". Of course, I'm thinking this is a mistake. We have done every single homework assignment plus extra! She only gets math homework and any papers she did not complete, plus she brings home reading books which we always read. I was totally stumped.

I wrote her teacher this morning to ask if that grade was accurate and the response was this: Em had three late homework papers, 3 late papers = "3" for effort. Simply put. OK, there were exactly three times she took in her homework one day late. One day, she had for some unknown reason taken her entire school folder out of her backpack and I only noticed around 3:30 after I got home from work. One other time, I had taken her homework out to email her teacher a question about it. I didn't get a answer until the next morning and just inadvertantly left that homework by my computer waiting... just figured I'd send it in the following day. Finally, the last homework paper just never made it off the kitchen table and into the folder - end of story. It happens, all the assignments were turned in, so nothing is missing, just three late papers. What would you do??

My beef is this - she failed homework, yet we did it all. She has the same grade as a child who never did a single homework assignment, who maybe never passed in half their assignments but no one will ever know that for sure. It doesn't say on the report card "She just turned in three assignments a day late" - it's just says she failed. First grade! for crying out loud. What, exactly, is the message in this? As a parent, the message to me is that you needn't bother teaching your child that mistakes happen, and you can be forgiven if you forget. The message is "don't bother!" You won't get credit anyway!! I think this is absolutely ridiculous, ranking up there with no more birthday parties and "unlawful" absences (more on that another time!). I'm having a hard time figuring out how to handle the one failing grade on her report card because I just think it's ludicrous.

I might have to send t alone to the conferences so I don't end up in the sheriff's office!


Jeremy said...

Preach, sista!

deanna said...

LOL - Well, to make matters even worse, I found her behavioral calendars (her teacher was quick to point out to me this was a behavioral issue - what???) and there are only two notes about missing homework AND I wrote a note back on one of them. It would appear that a "late" assignment is considered "missing" unless a note, like "we just didn't have time to do homework tonight" is written - in which case it's not counted at all!!!! WHAT?

What I'm hearing is that if we're honest, and we admit to forgetting to send in a finished homework assignment we will be punished, but if we just lie and say we didn't have time to do it it won't count against us. I'm completely irate at this point. Time to double up on that blood pressure med!

Anonymous said...

Ah, my sweet cousin. If I only had a dollar for every one of my alternative school students who looked at me dumbfounded when I would not accept a "late" assignment. Now I know that kindergarten is a far shot from being a "bad" student at an alternative school, but is not part of kindergarten learning good school habits that must last a lifetime of learning and working? Just some fodder for your brain ;)

deanna said...

Ah, bittersweet cousin of mine! Herein lies the biggest inconsistency of all!! In first grade, who is the person really responsible for the homework? and making sure it's done and in the folder?? Moi! This is a in actuality a very underhanded way of being nasty to parents - and I'll call it nasty, because it's quite unfair to a 6 year old who cries because she's old enough to know that a three on her report card is "terrible"!

Em is not having an easy year, and it's difficult enough to get her to complete her own work in school. Once or twice a week! she brings home incomplete school work to finish at home, yet for "Completes schoolwork" in all areas - accuracy, on time, etc. she received 2's. The number of times that she has not finished her classwork has to be tenfold the 2 times she turned in homework one day late. And one of those two days I had an email exchange with her teacher with a question from the homework - which was turned in once we understood what to do on that homework. It had the note they are talking about. Technically, she has one "missed" homework assignment from 44 days of school - and she failed homework. I don't see the fairness in that at all.

For older kids, who are actually old enough to take responsibility for these things to begin with, it's entirely different. My child has done her homework every single day, and we have her doing an extra math or handwriting page everyday to boot. I'd say that her "effort" far exceeds her classmates and a "needs improvement" is completely unwarranted. Even in college we had a one day grace period for homework assignments!

Anonymous said...

quit bloggin' and start PARENTNG! I'm new to this stuff - I think I'll continue doing what I was doing before - listening to music and reading books! Why do people think what they have to think is so important!???

deanna said...

Sure, go ahead and do that! ;-)