This I Believe

jamie - logan, Utah
Entered on December 6, 2007

Looking at my test score, I knew there had not been a mistake, even though I sincerely wished there had been one. I knew I had failed the test the second I turned it in not even half-finished. I hadn’t really studied for the test even though it was a final because I knew it didn’t make any difference. I looked over at the girl next to me. She showed me her scores, which were just a little better than mine. As I looked at I noticed something that didn’t seem right.

“Why is you score divide by a different number than mine?” I asked her.

“Huh? Oh I have no idea.” Jen answered as she looked down at her paper.

“Mr. Hutwelker, I have a question.”

“Yes, hm.” He answered as he tried not to look at me.

Mr. Hutwelker was on of those teachers that you had to really guess how in the world he was still allowed to teach. He didn’t teach the higher level classes, he only taught the middle level students. It was rumored that he didn’t even keep a grade book and I would not have been surprised if it was true. I had been stuck with him for two years in a row and was tired of hearing the same story everyday in class. I was a little outspoken about how unfair I felt the class was.

“Why is Jen’s score over a different number than mine.” I asked

“Oh what? That oh well. She didn’t answer some question.” He responded off handed.

“What? But that doesn’t mean that those questions were not on the test! So, you are saying I could just not answer things are not be penalized for it? So I could have just wrote my name on the test and turn it in?”

“Well, no it doesn’t work like that. It’s just the numbers if you divided them you would see they are the same.” He said in a rushed voice.

“Ok, let me try. No, they do now equal the same thing.” I said.

“Well, we can talk about this later not during class.”

I stayed after class and waited for him. I could tell that he was hoping that I would just give up and not wait to talk to him. However, I was not going to let this slide. I was tired of him pretending to be a high educator. He brushed me off as much as he could but I was not willing to back down. He told me that he would look into the discrepancy and talk to me about it the next day. I knew he was just trying to buy himself a little time but I let it go. The next day I went to class and asked him what he had seen while he was looking into it. He told me not to worry about it and since there was a “issue” with my test that I would receive a B.

I know that I do not know everything there is to know about the educational system but I know that there is something wrong with this. However, I knew that there was nothing to be done so I took my B because I knew it was better than what I had before, and better than I deserved. The school had had complaints about this teacher time and time again but he just taught the middle of the road students. These were not the students whom the school was concerned about. The high level students had the best teachers in the school and received much better treatment. However, students that were just normal received teachers that had lesson plans that consisted of “show up.”

This has never sat right with me. How the majority of students, which are the middle level students, received a lower education and were not pushed to reach a higher level. I tried to go up a level in a few classes by request of my teachers however, the guidance counselors told me I couldn’t. They told me I would not be able to handle it.

The schools stick students in a level, give them subpar teachers and refuse to let them move up or stretch themselves. They try to tell students that they need to make goals for themselves and to do better in school. However, why would a student want to try to do better in school when they are not allowed change the status? When students are given teachers that are not worth having that title they struggle to be motivated. I believe that children regardless of their level in school should be educated and encouraged to rise above.