Texas high school chivalry assignment an exercise in misogyny

In an age of cancel culture, where anything can be deemed offensive and virtually erased from the public consciousness, one wonders how this assignment ever made it past the initial idea phase of one high school English teacher in Texas.

Even if this assignment (seen below, originally posted by @BrandiDAddison via Twitter) had any actual aim other than to shock and entertain, one would expect to see it in a History classroom, and not an English one. Perhaps even more surprising, the tone-deaf teacher apparently had used this assignment in at least one year previous, allowing students the option to refuse participation, if they objected to the content.

More than a class project at Shallowater High School, the “rules” contained in this assignment were to be strictly followed all day, throughout school, and even at home. Members of the opposite sex could essentially grade them on their success. Oddly enough, this assignment was designed by a female English teacher.

While male students are expected to open doors, pull out chairs, and compose themselves cleanly and respectfully, with no foul language, female students are told to “obey any reasonable request of a male” and also to dress enticingly, clean up after the boys, and bring them treats. The disparity is apparent if these students are following these rules throughout the school day: while the boys may just be seen as nice and well-behaved, the girls would undoubtedly be judged in a very different light.

After Addison posted the offending documents on Twitter the assignment was removed from the school due to public outcry, though some critics still insist, “How else will we learn about how life was like for women in the 1300’s?” I guess we should remember that next time a History class begins a unit on slavery, then?

Shallowater High School in Shallowater, Texas, serves approximately 450 students in grades 9-12. Sixty-six percent of students are white, with the remainder mostly Hispanic. It boasts a 100% 4-year graduation rate and excellent college readiness scores.

Brandi D Addison (Twitter)

Texas school scraps chivalry assignment that had girls ‘obey any reasonable request of a male’ (NBC News)

Shallowater High School (GreatSchools)

Failing Students Still Outperforming Half of Their Classmates

Social promotion has been a concern for parents and educators alike for along as institutionalized education has existed, but it’s difficult to believe it can exist on a level as extreme as what Project Baltimore discovered this year.

A high school senior, it’s reported, has passed just three classes in his 4 years at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Design in Batimore, Maryland, with nearly 300 absences, and was then informed that he would need to repeat all four years in order to obtain a diploma. His GPA: just 0.13. His mother, a single parent working three jobs to support three children, is beside herself. She obviously relied on the school to prepare her son for graduation, and had no idea that he was performing poorly enough to be held back, especially as he was consistently promoted to the next grade. It’s easy to blame her – after all, parents should have some idea that their child is failing – but this mother is like most public school parents today: conditioned to depend on schools for everything, and as she asserts that direct communication with her was never initiated by the school, she assumed “no news was good news.”

Perhaps even more concerning is the rank shown on the teen’s most recent report card: 62 out of 150, which leads one to infer that there are 58 students at Augusta Fells with a GPA lower than 0.13.

Questions posed to the mayor of Batimore only yielded a call to protect the privacy of these failing students, as well as a promise to improve school quality now that they’ve received the funding they apparently weren’t getting before. (Augusta Fells is a charter school.)

While there is a push to shut down the school, citing the large amount of the student body performing well below the city, state, and national averages, most social media comments seem to focus on vilifying the mother for her ignorance and negligence. It bears reminding that the school system as a rule undermines all parental authority, convincing families that they will do the job of raising children (sex education and character education programs are evidence of this). This woman, likely overworked and undereducated herself, is only a product of what she herself was taught by a very broken system.

Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Design serves over 400 students in grades 9-12 in the Baltimore area, and has a dismal grade of 1/10 on Greatschools, citing a low graduation rate of 56% (the state average is 87%) and poor standardized test results. Ninety-seven percent of the students are black, and 56% qualify as low-income. Students are admitted through a lottery. It first opened in 2004.

City student passes 3 classes in four years, ranks near top half of class with 0.13 GPA (Fox Baltimore)

Calls to Shut Down City School Where 0.13 GPA Ranks Near Top Half of Class (Fox Baltimore)

Augusta Fells Savage Institute Of Visual Arts (GreatSchools)

Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts (Baltimore City Public Schools)

Pennsylvania principal loses appeal, remains convicted in cheating scandal

We’ve all heard the miracle stories about tough-as-nails principals taking the reins at a failing public school and turning it around in a matter of a few short years. How did they do it? we ask, amazed, and they respond with something akin to “hard work, and perseverance, and appealing to the kids, they’re our future,” etc. They cover all the talking points, mention all the buzzwords, tug at all the heartstrings, and we “aww” and give ourselves a collective pat on the back, because gosh darn it, inner city schools can be helped, after all.

Unless, of course, that principal is full of crap.

Arthur Melton, now in his 70’s, is just one of over a dozen Philadelphia-area principals caught in a test cheating scandal in 2014. The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, otherwise known as PSSA, measures individual school success through the testing of students in language arts, math, and science.

When Melton took the helm at Edward W. Bok Technical High School (known simply as “Bok” to locals) in 2005, the school was vastly underperforming, with less than 5 percent of students attaining grade-level proficiency in the above-mentioned subjects. In 2010 – a mere 5 years later – 71.1 percent of students met math proficiency standards, and 53.1 percent met language arts standards as measured by the PSSA. Turns out it was Melton’s tweaking that was responsible.

During an interview, Melton confessed to using an answer key to personally alter test results among students that were, prior to testing, determined to be “on the cusp” of passing. Later at his trial, he insisted this was not true. Witnesses never testified to have seen Melton tampering with exams, so he was convicted on “mere speculation,” which is appeal argued, but the conviction was upheld Monday, along with 12 months’ probation and the revocation of his teaching and administrator credentials.

mathscoresbok
Bok’s math scores returning to “normal,” image courtesy Public School Review

Upon removing these practices from the school, Bok’s test scores predictably were back down close to where they’d been before Melton’s interference. Edward W. Bok Technical High School was finally closed in 2013, leaving its nearly 900 students, 96% of whom were minorities, to find elsewhere to attend school.

While more than 12 Philadelphia principals have been implicated, there is evidence to suggest that this is way more widespread, with more than 50 schools across Philly alone that have been flagged for cheating on standardized tests.

Principal of failing high school deserves conviction in PSSA test cheating scandal: Pa. court

Fallout of Pa. cheating scandal continues with charges against two Philly principals

2 former Philadelphia School District principals charged with PSSA cheating

Pennsylvania Department of Education — PSSA

Public School Review – Bok Edw W Technical High School (Closed 2014)

Surprise, surprise: Less school improves morale and performance

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Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

This may seem like common sense to many of us, but school districts in rural Oklahoma and Colorado are just now jumping on the bandwagon: less school apparently leads to greater student success.

Four-day weeks have been implemented in many small schools, undoubtedly eliminating the time spent on needless political and ideological indoctrination and placing the focus back on academics, forcing parents to spend an extra day with their children and fostering better relationships that, of course, result in happier, brighter, more receptive children.

This doesn’t take into account the benefit to teachers of having a four-day work week. Good teachers (you know, the ones that aren’t degenerates or pedophiles) often experience burnout after very little time within public schools, due to the long hours, unnecessary busywork, “character education” (i.e., brainwashing under the guise of “acceptance,” and of course, teachers’ unions, which do little to actually help teachers and a whole lot to help the Democratic Party.

Of course, as the push for four-day school weeks moves toward urban centers, there will be backlash, as parents who work will have to coordinate child care, or leave children unattended. Of course, teachers’ unions lobby for more money in spite of the shorter weeks (higher salaries for teachers equate with higher union dues paid to them).

Shorter weeks? Longer hours? “Better teachers” through higher pay? Year-round school? Distance education? There are many questions related to improving public schools and increasing student performance, but after the research, the debate, and the experimentation, the conclusion often arrived at is this: the public school system is inherently flawed, and no amount of corrective measures will make it adequate.

Four-day weeks bring smiles in rural schools. But will they work in big cities?