Barrington Middle School Is Getting Rid Of The Honor Roll Because Kids Who Don’t Work As Hard Are Having Their Feelings Hurt
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Apparently there is a middle school in Rhode Island that has become a training ground for the next generation of butthurts……
ProJo: If any of your children go to the middle school, don’t look for their names in the local newspaper to see if they made the honor roll last semester. Barrington Middle School has decided to end its long tradition of producing an honor roll in an effort to downplay the significance of letter grades and reduce student and parent anxiety. The change — for students in seventh and eighth grades — does not affect the high school.
“BMS has engaged in several years of learning around mindfulness and effective assessment strategies with leading experts in the field. We know that the middle school age student faces a number of social, academic, and emotional changes,” Principal Andrew Anderson wrote in letter to middle school families this week. “The traditional honor roll does not acknowledge the whole student and is not an effective measure or representation of success.”
This is the kind of person who becomes an administrator in 2017:
The honor roll isn’t an effective measure of representation of success? What the hell are you talking about? That’s exactly what the honor roll represents. It’s not like they’re publishing a “list of shame.” They’re honoring kids who did a great job. But I guess we can’t do that anymore because a bunch of D students will have their precious feelings hurt. After all, the honor roll doesn’t represent the “whole student.” That kid who got a D+ on his book report has a heart of gold. He always pushes his chair in after class and offers to clean the chalkboard every Friday. Sure, he’s not very good at reading or writing, but he shows up every day and has a pulse so he should leave school feeling like a champion. This is why schools exist.
Here’s my question – why is Barrington Middle School still giving grades? Hampshire College got rid of them a long time ago, and they’re America’s largest producer of snowflakes. Don’t grades hurt kid’s feelings too? At least with an honor roll you’re telling successful students how great they are, but you’re not telling the rest of the kids they suck. They’re just not in that top 10%, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But with grades you’re actually telling failing students that they are in fact a failure. Seems a lot more triggering to me than an honor roll. Just sayin.
Here’s the thing – you learn more from defeat than you do from anything else. I never made the first honor roll my entire life. But there was this one time, third quarter during 7th grade. I was ON FIRE!! I was taking my meds and I kept track of all my assignments in my trapper keeper, which I just got for Christmas. I did my readings, I studied for quizzes, and I did my homework.
But Mrs. Pajka had a stick up her ass, and since English is probably the subject that allows teachers to be the most subjective when assessing grades, I ended up getting an 89 in ELA. One more point was all I needed, and I told her this. I pretty much begged her, and she still said no.
And ya know what? I’m glad she did. Because I never should’ve been in the position where I needed to kiss her ass to get an extra point in order to get on the first honor roll. I should’ve played it safe and made sure I had a 95 instead of living on the edge. That’s what I learned from that, and I’ve used that life lesson many times over going forward. Thanks Mrs. Pajka!! I used to think you were a real bitch, but you’re alright!
Supt. Michael Messore said that Barrington schools have been reviewing their practices with an eye toward reducing stress. That has led to changes, for example, in how much homework students are assigned and when they are assigned it.
Wait….what?? We’re getting rid of homework because it makes them too stressed? Who gives a shit if they’re stressed? That’s life. And the whole point of school is to try to at least prepare them a little bit for life. Try being a parent. That shit is stressful. Every morning I wake up and I’m playing beat the clock with Turtleboy Jr. I see how fast I can make coffee before he completely destroys the living room. Then I have to worry about making enough money so I don’t get foreclosed on and fuck up my credit. Oh, and Turtleboy Jr. is constantly looking for new ways to kill himself, so I’m pretty much on suicide duty 24/7. But yea, homework is stressful. This is why schools exist. To make sure kids don’t feel stress. Ever.
At the middle school, in particular, letter grades and honor rolls have no bearing on students’ future high school transcripts, which can determine acceptance into college, Messore said. Yet some middle school students and their parents get overly anxious about report cards and honor rolls.
You know who’s stressed about the honor roll? Every Asian kid I ever went to school with. Because they all strived and thrived on success. And if they heard about this dumbass proposal they’d be down in the main office cussing you out in Vietnamese. Your weak sauce wouldn’t have lasted five minutes with the Cong.
“Students coming from elementary school into middle school all of a sudden start worrying about the grades,” he said. “Let’s not miss the point of why we are here and what we are learning about.”
Succeeding and failing IS the point of going to school. At least it should be. School isn’t about making your kid feel good about themselves. It’s about letting them know what success and failure taste like. If they like the way success feels then they’ll work hard their entire lives. No one likes failing, but some people stomach it better than others. You figure out which of the two you are in middle school.
Already, there is shift in Barrington away from letter grades at the middle school level. The sixth grade has begun assessing students not with letter grades, but on whether they are meeting standards. That, said Messore, could migrate to the upper middle school grades in future years, as has taken place at other Rhode Island schools, including Middletown and Coventry, many years ago.
Oh for fuck’s sake. God help us.
In explaining the honor roll decision, Anderson wrote to families, “This decision came out of committee work, conversations around grading, and ultimately what is best for all students, not just some students. This decision is also supported by a body of research that emphasizes the learning process. A traditional honor roll is counter-intuitive to that core fundamental belief. “BMS will continue to celebrate students who demonstrate academic, civic, and social expectations through frequent and year-end recognition ceremonies.”
“What is best for all students, not just some students?” What a great idea. We should do that with our government. Successful, hard working people shouldn’t be rewarded with bonuses and high paying jobs. That’s not what is best for ALL students. Instead, we should redistribute their houses, cars, and property to everyone so that no one feels bad about themselves. How come no one has ever thought of that before?
Oh wait, they have. It’s called socialism.
And when he says “not just some students,” the principal is taking a direct shot at kids who get straight A’s. You little snotnose shitheads have been getting WAY too much praise and attention for far too long. Time to bring you down a notch so we can give a trophy to the fat kid who picks his nose and doesn’t take notes in class.
My question is, where does this end? Are we gonna stop keeping score at middle school basketball games? After all, the losing team will have their feelings hurt. The final score isn’t an effective measure or representation of success. I mean, if both teams tried hard, but one team had superior athletes, it’s not really fair to reward them. Because….anxiety.
The bottom line is, making first honor roll is really, really hard. I found that out with Mrs. Pajka. You don’t get there by just being smart. You have to put the work in. And kids who sacrifice their social lives to become more learned absolutely should be recognized for doing so. Instead we’re taking that away from them because it hurts the feelings of kids who didn’t work as hard as them.
I figured it would be unanimous that this was a stupid idea. But then again, schools wouldn’t do stuff like this if there weren’t loud mouths in the general population calling for it. Let’s see what these geniuses have to say….
Well Lynne, thank you for your service as a special ed teacher. I know it’s not an easy job. But if you’re teaching them that the incentive is “knowing they’ve done their best” then you should have no problem with having an honor roll. After all, as long as they “tried their best,” then you’re happy with them. It shouldn’t affect them at all that other kids are rewarded for getting straight A’s. They have a right to be satisfied with mediocre results. They don’t have a right to take away an award we gave to students who weren’t satisfied with mediocrity.
She lost me at “institutionalized education,” and “know how to succeed in the system.” Ya know who “knows how to succeed in a system?” Winners. Ya know who doesn’t? Everyone else. Anyone who says things like “children learn in alternative ways” is just making excuses for kids who aren’t trying hard enough. If these kids who learn in alternative ways can’t get the answers right on a multiple choice quiz, then how are they gonna write a paper or a free response when the correct answer isn’t right in front of them?
Here’s an idea Dave. How bout instead of being around an 89 or a 90, you just get a 95 next quarter so you’re not in a position where Mrs. Pajka can fuck you over? Not surprisingly look who his favorite congressman is:
Shocking. And yes, unfortunately he is a teacher:
Glad my teachers actually held me to a high standard and didn’t reward me for mediocrity. I feel for kids who come out of classrooms with teachers who think like this.
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