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Mtl_zack's avatar

Do teachers have a "pass quota"?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6738 points ) October 6th, 2008

do they have to pass a certain amount of students per semester? i heard that they can get fired if they fail everyone. i ask because my teachers are extending all my papers hoping that i hand in a great paper late rather than give in a horrible paper early.

just for the record, im not complaining.

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12 Answers

Fallenangel's avatar

In Manassas, Virginia I believe they do. Like teachers that have (I think) 3 years of high numbers, they get fired. It seems like every year a few teachers that people said were horrible got fired.

AstroChuck's avatar

My wife is a teacher here in California and she says no.
Perhaps your teacher just cares about your scholastic record.

Megan64's avatar

I’m also in CA. No rule about it, but I think if a teacher failed everyone in his/her class it would say something about his/her teaching, and it wouldn’t be good.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Im pretty sure in NJ there is a rule about it. Im not positive but i recall a teacher of mine talking to me about it before.

jrpowell's avatar

If your entire class fails you are obviously doing something wrong. Either you are doing lines off your desk while you should be teaching or your expectations are to high. Luckily the curve is used by a lot of instructors.

I doubt there is a legal amount set by the government. But, I am pretty sure that if everyone failed you would need to print up some new copies of your resume.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

(disclaimer: somewhat tangential)
My friend is a 4th grade teacher in Texas, and she was just telling me how the school refused to fail a student whose own parents thought it would be best for him. Apparently if a particular student passes the standardized state test (it’s called the TACS here, I believe) and they fail the class, it reflects badly on the school, worse than if they had failed the test and the class, because if they fail both, okay, maybe they’re not that smart, but if they pass the test but not the class, the teacher must be doing something wrong. what actually happened in this case, according to my friend, is that the school teaches to the test, and it backfired in this case.

(another tangential story)
According to another one of my firiends, a chemistry professor failed 6 students in an upper level course last semester, and now the department is putting a lot of pressure on all the chemistry profs not to fail anyone, because when people fail they drop the major, and when that happens their funding shrinks.

cookieman's avatar

As a former academic chair at a college here in Boston…If one of my teachers passed a student who didn’t earn it, I would have fired them.

That being said, if an ENTIRE class failed, something is clearly askew with their teaching abillity and would be looked into and fixed.

NVOldGuy's avatar

cprevite, An entire class? What about one third? One half? You assume (from your answer) something is askew but you would never assume someone ended up with a bunch of slackers? Just wondering? Some of us have been told we would pass someone who didn’t earn it. In the real world, every now and then you get a class where no one cares. But then again I didn’t teach at a college in Boston

cookieman's avatar

NVOldGuy: If one of my teachers had ended up with an entire class of “slackers”, I would have heard about long before final grades were issued. I referenced the idea of all students failing a class in response to johnpowell’s answer.

In truth, after almost 10 years of teaching college, I have been lucky to have never had an entire class of “slackers”. There’s always someone willing to learn. The problem lies in not taking the time to figure out how to teach them.

With regard to the “real world”, when I was a chair, it was at a college that catered to inner city students. Lots of drugs, self mutilation, pregnancy, etc.

Despite this, in our little corner if the “real world”, there was never an entire class where “no one cared”. You just have to look harder.

NVOldGuy's avatar

cprevite think you missed the point. Judging from your first comment, it seemed you just took it as fact the teacher was wrong. Hence the questions of one half or one third. Of course there are few whole classes of slackers. I didn’t teach in the inner city but guess what? We had lots of drugs and all that good stuff. The point I was trying to make, it seems as if the teacher is always the first one to get hammered. Why did the kid fail? What did you do wrong? Thanks for the lesson in education. I guess, I just didn’t look hard enough. Another question? If you were in a college, the kids were there by choice right? When I talked about the real world, I meant a school where the kids have to be there. Ten years? Good job, hope you can stick around for 30.

NVOldGuy's avatar

Sorry I missed the point about the teachers being yours. I hope they know they’re your teachers. Sounds like your treat your teachers like they are your students.

cookieman's avatar

NVOldGuy: Truth is I refer to them as “my teachers” because we always performed as a team – almost like a family. I had a responsibility toward their well being and (to a lesser degree) toward their career trajectory. Best people I ever worked with. So it’s a term of endearment.

But perhaps you’re right, in 20 more years I might be as bitter and defensive as you seem to be – and then we can agree on this subject. I’ll be sure to let you know.

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