Knives were out
Not surprisingly, the knives were out for me when I had to go back to Treem in early January. Not only had I blown the whistle on them, but, by refusing to change the classroom’s D’s and F’s into A’s and B’s, I’d thrown a monkey wrench into their scheme. Since I wouldn’t do it, they’d had to do all the grade-changing themselves, and, I was told, it took them two months.
So, on Monday, January 7, I went into my classroom and checked to see where the last substitute had left off. I had had only a day-and-a-half training back in October on the district’s new i-Ready curriculum, so I needed some help. But when I saw the learning strategist/ARL supervisor, she said she could not help me, but that I should wait for the vice principal.
Through the early morning Vice Principal Cyprus and Principal Tippetts would pass by but no one would come in to help me learn the new curriculum. So I waited all day.
Finally, at the end of the day, as I was in another second-grade teacher’s room, the principal and vice principal said they wanted to talk to me about the grade book, and in my room. Once there, the vice principal asked me if I knew how to put grades in the grade book. I said yes.
The principal ask me if I knew how to grade papers. I said if it is based on a 100-point test. The principal and vice principal handed me test papers, and the vice principal told me to grade and enter the grades from all of the tests so that report cards would be ready Friday.
The vice principal said, “You will see I graded some already to show you how. Grade the remaining ones and then put them in the grade book.
“We feel the kids are not getting the grades they should be getting, and it is not fair to them.”
I looked at what she had handed me, and said, “I would not know how to do some of those.” I had never seen any like them, with different tests and different scoring all on the same page.
For example, on a single page would be three different tests, with different numbers of problems or questions asked on each test. Also, various tests on the page would be under different Common Core standards.
So, I did not know how to score what I’d been handed — how many points to take off for each incorrect answer. One? Or do I add up the correct answers?
Nevertheless, the principal and vice-principal said they would come by the next day and have me sign a paper saying that they had explained what I had to do, and I would have to sign it anyway. They then left the room.
They were giving me everything they could, to do, even if I did not know how to do it, so they could write me up. One of these assignments was on Tuesday the 8th, I think, and they started giving me commands with memos as to what time to have it done and then direct me to sign it.
The test papers went back as far as early August and September, as well as the final tests of the Modules. But the grades were different now.
By Thursday, January 10, there’d still been no training. However, late in the day, Vice Principal Cyprus and Principal Tippetts entered my classroom again and handed me a Notice of Investigatory Interview. Vice Principal Cyprus said, “You can read it and we can’t tell you any information about it.”
It asserted I had embarrassed a student the previous day, though actually they had first come up with that particular allegation back in October, just after I’d refused to cooperate in the grade-faking.
I said, “I would never do that.”
Then I asked, “Can I have representation?”
They said, “There is the time, and you will have to make those arrangements yourself.”
But I signed it and they left.
What they apparently did not know was that, earlier that same day, I’d finally received word from my union lawyer.
Her message said:
So that was the effective end of my time at Treem Elementary.