Bogus Bowl II

O.K, folks, here’s a second installment in the Bogus Bowl. Bogus Bowl I will close Saturday night (9 Feb 08), so jump over there (click on “polls” in the top navigation element) and vote in the first one if you’ve not done so already. Then come back here and vote on this one…. Or vice versa.

In this one, we’re examing reasons that educators give for shirking what I’ve sometimes called the “instructional obligation.” It’s your chance to consider alternative rationales for not teaching.

If you’re a teacher, you might have heard colleagues advance explanations such as these. Which is the most bogus? If you’re a parent, you may have heard one (or more) of these justifications for your child’s learning problems. Which one drove you the most batty? If you’re an administrator, I hope you haven’t suggested to your faculty that members use any of these.

[poll id=”5″]

As before, some of the losers (who just might consider themselves winners?) from this poll may reappear in later comparisons. Perhaps by the time we know whether there will be snow in DeKalb (IL, US) on 12 November 2008 by 7:00 AM, we’ll be able to match one of these winners (or losers) against a winner (or loser) from another Bogus Bowl on Teach Effectively!

Meanwhile, I welcome suggestions for topics for future Bogus Bowls. Just drop ’em in the comments.

8 Responses to “Bogus Bowl II”


  • Teaching is to accelerate student’s learning, not about the teacher’s preference and personal style.

  • Kimy Lu, I hear you. If the primary goals are to promote teachers’ happiness, then the contingencies are misplaced. We need to get educators—including me—to put kids’ outcomes at the top of the priority list.

  • Found you via Liz Ditz’s I Speak of Dreams blog. I was hoping there would be checkboxes here instead of radio buttons. “Most” bogus? That’s a hard choice.

  • You forgot the ones that parents of kids with dyslexia and related learning differences hear the most often:

    He’s really smart because he sets up all the technology in the classroom (or insert other talent here).

    He can do it if he wanted to.

    He’s just lazy.

  • That developmental delay excuse is a large burden to bear, especially when you consider what the research demonstrates.

    According to Susan Hall on SchwabLearning:

    “The three key research conclusions that support seeking help early are:

    – 90 percent of children with reading difficulties will
    achieve grade level in reading if they receive help by
    the first grade.
    – 75 percent of children whose help is delayed to age nine
    or later continue to struggle throughout their school
    careers.
    – If help is given in fourth grade, rather than in late
    kindergarten, it takes four times as long to improve the
    same skills by the same amount.

    Here is a link to the full article:

    http://www.schwablearning.org/articles.aspx?r=349

  • How about: Just because you’re absent due to chronic illness doesn’t mean that I have to make any allowences for you missing the material…

  • “It would not be fair” as in the situation we had in third grade:
    It wouldn’t be fair to allow your child to be working at his instructional level in ________ subject because the class is for ALL students, and some cannot work at that level. Never mind that the students that aren’t on grade level are either classified and receive pullout and push in services because they are three years below grade level academically or are eligible and receive rTi & Reading Recovery, and have specialists to work with them to develop their vocabularies. And never mind that last year’s class wasn’t a sped included class, so my kid now has an unfair advantage since his class did grade level work last year, which the current teacher wants to repeat this year, right down to the same units in the LA workbook.

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