|CBS TV's Nancy Giles gives keynote speech|
I was finally permitted to go back to Jamaica High School where I attended a wonderful graduation ceremony this morning. It felt good not to have to grade Regents exams electronically so I was in a positive frame of mind at graduation. CBS's Nancy Giles - a Jamaica High School graduate - was the keynote speaker. She walked us through time as she talked of Jamaica as it was and how disappointed she is to see it as five separate schools now.
|A packed house at Jamaica's graduation|
There was more to be happy about as three students that I taught this year gave outstanding speeches to the graduating class which was larger than originally expected which meant that our huge auditorium was mostly filled.
|Julius Hiralal gives valedictory speech.|
After finishing with the festivities, there was a great deal of work to catch up on that I could not do in the last two weeks because of the exam grading, including having to help the teachers with union concerns. It is very unsettling to be in a school that is phasing out (Jamaica has one more year to go unless a court saves us.) as staff downsizing is always in the air. This uneasy feeling grew worse when I saw some more of my students.
They told me that Regents grades are still missing. I taught Regents level US History and some of the students approached me to ask why their Regents grade for US History wasn't on their report cards. My explanation about the problems with electronic scoring was not very persuasive.
Imagine how you would feel if you worked hard for an entire year and took an exam and then when you expected to see the results on the report card, but instead you saw a blank spot where the Regents grade should be.
Students were allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony even though some kids still did not know if they had passed Regents exams to qualify for graduation.
I won't hold my breath waiting for people to be held accountable for the grading delays unless they can figure out a way to blame it on the teachers.
Another school year is behind us and it is one that I won't soon forget. With the new evaluation coming next year, I know I will need a good rest this summer.
Have a great summer everyone!