Testing, 1-2-3

A young woman I know teaches math at a local public high school. She told me this is what happened to her at a recent Parent-Teacher’s Night.

A mother came up and introduced herself as so-and-so’s mother. The teacher told her, “Oh, that’s nice, I’ve never actually met your child.”

“What do you mean?” the mother said.

“I mean, I’ve had three classes and your son never actually attended any of them.”

“Maybe you don’t know my son, he looks like…”

“It doesn’t matter what your son looks like, ma’am. I wouldn’t know him, because I’ve never met him. He’s never attended class.”

So finally the light dawns and the mother pulls a Homer Simpson: “Why, that little… I oughta….”

But it’s a week later, and the kid still hasn’t shown up in class. Now clearly, the mom cares. Why else would she attend the parent-teacher night? But just as clearly, she has no control over her child.

And under the new education proposals, this teacher’s salary will depend on how well that kid tests. Fair? Don’t think so.