When Koreans (or Americans too) ask me where I'm from, I say "Vancouver." Except "Vancouver," is actually my code-word for "Edmonton." It's just easier than explaining. Anyway, although this is a secret code, I'm sharing it with you today because there is an interesting news story from my hometown.
Suspended Teacher in a fight for High Standards
The gist of it is that there is a new policy in Edmonton high schools that student's final grades are based only on the work that they have completed. If they don't do something, there is no "0," or make-up required. Apparently it's related to the self-esteem movement.
Anyway, I applaud the teacher for standing up against this crap. As an extreme example, I guess a student could do absolutely nothing all semester long, and skip all the tests, but hand in some easy assignment worth 5% of the final grade, ace it and get an A+ in the class. Ridiculous. And it's not like high school in Canada is hard. For real. You can choose how hard you want it to be! When I was a student there were 4 different tracks of classes that you could choose:
1. IB Math for those who want to be taking University-level classes by the end of high school.
2. Math for those who want to attend university.
3. Math for those who might want to enter a community college or trade school involving science/engineering of some sort.
4. Math for those who never plan on setting foot in a classroom ever again after high school.
It's a slippery slope, let's just say that. Kind of reminds me of working at a Korean University where students expect to get an A/A+ just because they've been physically present at most of the classes, even if they've done absolutely no homework or performed well on the tests. And, I have to make my classes almost ridiculously easy (including giving the exact questions that are on the test beforehand) or the majority of my students would fail.