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I am of firm belief that students’ grades should reflect their actual performance, good or bad, that graded papers should be returned and recognized as a part of the instructional process. I am also of firm belief that the demonstrable academic railroading of students should be actionable and punishable by law… Academic railroading is when unscrupulous tactics are utilized by teachers and/or other relevant school officials to deflate students’ grades, or make it appear that certain students are less intelligent than others. It is a form of psychological warfare that is actually occurring in classrooms at epidemic proportion. It is designed to compel failure amongst primarily minority students, and is a push out strategy that is not just utilized against minorities attending predominantly White colleges, but those attending public schools, including those that are lead by African American and other minorities. Student behavior is not always a factor; likely, in most cases, it is not a factor at all…

Examples of academic railroading include issuance of assignments without sufficient or complete instructions, testing or issuance of other assignments on material that students have not been taught and/or issuing assignments that are actually designed for higher grade levels. It also includes faulty wording of tests, quizzes, etc., issuance of course work or projects that comprise overwhelming amounts of work that must be completed within short or unreasonable periods of time, assigning students to group projects and failing or academically penalizing those who complete 100% of their work load because other students in the group did not do their part, failing indigent students who cannot afford to purchase supplies for special projects, creating obstacles that prevent students from completing course work and/or attending school (this could include physically or emotionally injuring a student), instructing students, with or without duress, to give wrong answers on a test, etc…

Why would a teacher or other school officials endeavor to purposely fail students when their own performance is mirrored in the students’ performance to a significant extent? There are various logical answers to this question. To a vast extent, it is a form of social isolation of individuals who are deemed less favorable by society’s standards, i.e. dark skinned individuals, who are less tolerable than other minorities, females of all races (though minority females face dual discrimination), obese individuals, etc. Primarily, student failure is big business. Schools [and parents] are eligible for special funding for students classified as having “learning disabilities.”

I actually had a school official at one of various schools where I’ve worked as a paraprofessional to tell me to hold off on teaching a student because his parents were concerned about his “benefits,” once she saw that the student was learning material that apparently they were purposely not trying to teach him. Because I had been assigned to work with this student, I ignored the school official’s instruction to essentially not teach him. Not only did the young man learn the material, he got so good at it that I appointed him to help other students in the class, and he was just as effective at teaching what he’d learned.

Academic railroading also appears to be an element of the school-to-prison pipeline conspiracy. It might also be an element of bell curve grading in some schools, a system under which only a certain number of students can earn each letter grade, though they may have actually earned better grades. Amusingly, a book entitled The Bell Curve insists that minorities are intellectually inferior to Caucasians, while educational achievement gaps between Caucasians and minorities would significantly improve by removal of bell curves and other unfair grading and discriminatory practices…

Charters also receive special funding to address the issue of poor student performance, though in many instances students attending charters perform no better than students attending traditional public schools (Charters and traditional public schools can co-exist where charters are really offering something that is not being offered in public schools, i.e. specialized courses). In any event, academic railroading of students should not be a marketing strategy that is invoked by friends of charters in public schools to compel attendance of those charters. Behavior of the sort is essentially a form of racketeering.

When school officials implore tactics to maliciously fail and/or push students out of school, they (the school officials) should be punished, removed, subject to psychological evaluations, and/or incarcerated, depending upon the seriousness of the offense(s)…

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