We had our second conference with TJ's mother this morning. He's failing Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. He disrespects every teacher and has gang logos all over his folder. Any work you give him he folds into paper missiles which he sticks in the ceiling by positioning them between his pointer fingers and propelling them upwards. His mother says he failed sixth grade twice, and failed seventh grade also, but they didn't retain him because they thought he would fail eighth grade too, and you can only fail five times before some expensive consequence arises which BCPSS wished to avoid. There are many students in our two classes who actually failed seventh grade but who were passed on nonetheless because the standards were eased for whatever political or career-saving reason.
Ten minutes after our conference with his mother, the police came to our room and took TJ away. Apparently he's a suspect in a computer theft which occured in the school library. TJ's grandma works in the school cafeteria. She is tired of us coming to ask for her help. "You call the police on that boy. I am done dealing with him. He needs to be jacked up."
We finished another reading diagnostic test today. Two girls in our 2nd period class read at 9th grade level. The next highest reads at a sixth grade level. The two best-behaved and hardest working students read at the fifth grade level. Because everyone else in their eighth grade class reads at the third grade level, these kids look like geniuses.
Tonight the Booker T. staff are singing karaoke at Kelly's Pub on Eastern Ave. Come join us.