Went to parent/teacher conferences at Z’s school last night. There were parents, and there were teachers, but there wasn’t much in the way of conferences. When I attended the conferences at her elementary school we actually had an appointment and had x amount of time with the teacher. At her Middle School they basically herded all of the parents into the cafeteria (multi-purpose room) where they’d set up a bunch of tables (with VERY narrow aisles) and stationed a different teacher at each table. They then gave a 3 hour window for parents to talk to all of the teachers. That was it. Complete chaos.
I didn’t bother trying to fight for position to speak with Z’s choir teacher, but left that to her mother. Instead I spoke with her English/Social Sciences teacher (her Math/Science teacher could not attend). So I sit down at the table and Ms. Moore immediately starts “explaining” Z’s easily understandable scores on the Standardized tests. Her mom kept the paper, so I can’t remember the specific numbers, but essentially her scores are unchanged over the last year or so. Did I really need five minutes for that to be pointed out to me. She then essentially dismissed me as there were already other parents waiting to speak with her.
Having none of that I asked about what she was actually teaching Z in an attempt to determine what she was learning. Ms. Moore couldn’t even offer a simple question about what type of questions are on the tests. Z got Bs on two of her reading comprehension tests and when I asked what type of questions were asked (the tests are never returned for some reason) all I could get was gobbledy-gook. So, trying another tack I asked what questions would be asked if the kids had read Romeo and Juliet assuming we were both familiar with that work. In return I received a blank stare. Pushing forward (now with three pairs of parents waiting for attention) I queried as to whether she might ask the kids why R&J couldn’t get married. “No. That would be too complex.” That’s it. Absolutely no suggestion as to what she might ask.
In other words, it’s not surprising to me that Zs test scores haven’t increased in two years – no one is teaching her anything! At least that’s the only thing I can interpret from her teacher’s lack of cooperation or ability to explain what it is she’s teaching. I really need to get Z into a private school…