M... M... M...

No, I am not talking about Campbell Soup (have you looked at the fat and Sodium content?) I am talking about Mastery, Mediocrity, and Mendacity. OK, yes, I have been told that I should not use three syllable words, but if I have great expectations of our students, shouldn't I have the same expectations of our electorate? But we stray from a topic close to the hearts of all residents of Lake Woebegone, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average".

Many in Anchorage do not yet understand that in the Anchorage School District a grade of C "indicates that the student is acquiring the necessary information to proceed in the subject" and that the student "is meeting the standards set for a passing grade in the course." And yet how many parents are satisfied with their kids getting a "C"? Arguably Ms. Comeau isn't happy about getting a "C"!

Of course, while a "C" may suggest to some parents the height of mediocrity, that is not the real issue, is it? The real concern is whether the quoted language means that a student has mastered the material or not; and the answer to that problem will only make you angrier as you discover that ASD continues to move away a mastery based curriculum and move towards curriculum where mastery is not of concern because the curriculum is spiral or helical (don't worry, we will come back to this in a few weeks). Unfortunately the student continues to be lost and the class continues to fall behind.

Why is your kid's teacher giving you a hard time about the kid getting a "C" if a "C" indicates mastery, and if there is no mastery and the "C" only means that the kid is ready to "proceed", isn't that great?! And now we have to address the mendacity of it all.....

Our view of our schools is fabricated of personal experience and propaganda, neither likely an accurate representation of what exists outside our personal experience. We really have lost our way in education in so many respects, most importantly, perhaps in the matter of respect for education.

This communication was paid for by Marc Grober, 5610 Radcliff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99504