DNJ Editorial About LHS

Linking the editorial from the Daily News Journal about LaVergne High School.

We wish Daniels well as he prepares to leave La Vergne High, because It isn’t an easy place to be the principal. With a large number of low-income students, a highly transient population and movement from the Antioch area into northern Rutherford County, La Vergne High is no place for wilting violets.

In my own opinion, when you have teachers who give students ZERO for credit because they do their work in pen rather than pencil and don’t take into consideration that the actual work has been done, that’s a real disincentive for students.  It doesn’t teach math, it teaches kids to hate school, to hate math, and to not really care anymore.   There are three teachers in my family who I asked about this… all said they would’ve just taken off 10 points.  But at LHS, the kids get zeroes… thereby dropping what would’ve been a B or C to a D or F.  When we asked the teacher about this, the attitude was “Too bad.”

Overall I think there are some fantastic teachers there, but absolutely there are some bad apples.  I don’t have any specific gripes again Mr. Daniels, but I do think Mr. Ash will immediately start some housecleaning.  He’s not going to tolerate “Pants on the Ground,” bad language, kids making out at lunch, etc.  He will be out in the halls every single day and won’t put up with bad behavior.  No he’s not perfect by any means – I know his former students are moaning and groaning.  However the proof is in the pudding and if we see improvement across the board – from student behavior to teachers doing a better job (for example – if the emphasis is actually on kids being able to learn math rather than panicking and feeling defeated because they don’t have a pencil), then I’m all for it.

12 comments for “DNJ Editorial About LHS

  1. Sherry
    February 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    My personal favorites are teachers that (1) don't return graded homework or tests; (2) never send out progress reports because they're "too time-consuming to put together" (an exact quote from a teacher); and (3) don't return e-mails or phone calls when you finally DO get a report card and have questions.

    Have I been to Mr. Daniels about these issues? Absolutely (and very politely, I might add). Did I ever get more than "I'll look into it and get back to you"? Not once.

    I know that LHS has some excellent teachers, but can also name half a dozen that should have been canned a long time ago. I hope Mr. Ash does some major housecleaning . . . it's just sad that it comes too late for many of the older kids.

  2. February 22, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Amen to that!

  3. Will
    February 22, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I had 2 children go to LHS and I never understood not giving back graded homework or tests for review either.

    For this part I will probably catch flack, but I agree giving zero's for not following instructions properly. These are teenagers who are old enough to be able to follow simple instructions. How many of them make this mistake repeatably? How many times should the teacher "deduct" points?

    We should be realistically setting these kids up with habits that will allow them to succeed when they get out of high school and enter "the adult" world so to speak. How many times will an employer give a "free pass" for not following directions? Not many I suspect, in today's economy.

    • Nikki
      February 23, 2010 at 9:51 am

      I definitely agree with Will about teaching students to follow the rules. I would have been treated the exact same way in high school and in college had I used a pen when I was told to use a pencil. I do not see this as setting up students to fail, but as setting up students to succeed. When we set rules and do not enforce them it teaches children that rules do not matter because there are no consequences for ignoring them. In the "real world" there are consequences, and from watching the news, it seems as though many people either don't believe in them or just don't care. I would not enjoy seeing the look on my supervisor's face if I ignored part of the instructions for any given task.

  4. michaelinLV
    February 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I don't have any kids at LHS, and at this rate I never will. Our zoned elementary school (Cedar Grove) and middle school (Rock Springs) are some of the best in the state I've been told by neighboring parents, but when my boys get to HS it's probably time for private school. That's still 13 years away for me so things have time to change, just for the better I hope.

    I see both angles on the pen/pencil argument. I remember in HS we had to do math work in pencil. I did it in pencil because those were the rules so I don't remember any of my classmates getting a 0 on their work. But I do agree with Will's point, if the first instruction is to do the work in pencil and you fail to follow the very first instruction, should you really just get a 10 point deduction?

    • Sherry
      February 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Start saving your pennies now, seriously! We went to both Rock Springs Elementary and Middle and loved them both. If I'd any clue the high school was such a mess, I'd have opted for private school as well. By the time we figured it out, transportation and money were major factors and it was too late to do anything.

      I'm not going to name names, but I know at least 15 parents who have fudged on home addresses so their kids could attend Smyrna, Siegel, Blackman or even some Metro schools instead of LHS. I honestly believe in playing by the rules, but I wish I was nervy enough to try that myself. However, I would be the one to get caught!

  5. February 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I definitely see the point, but I still think a zero that can impact someone's ability to be class valedictorian, honor roll, or just bring a B to an F is a bit much. Maybe something the teacher COULD do is say the first time you get 10 points off, after that it's a zero. These are still high school students, not real world and she could say, "If you were in the real world, you wouldn't get this second chance." And real world… three strikes you're out? 🙂

  6. LaVergne Resident
    February 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Students need to be held accountable also – they know the rules – and if they consistently strive to defy them – then there is a price – that is the real world – Best of luck to Mr. Ash – we need to take our school back and quit letting a bunch of tough-gang wanabees from running it – enough is enough. My child deserves a school where she shouldn't have to fear gangs, fights and violence. She is there to learn academics – not how to street fight. There is a reason why there are police in the hallways folks. This needs to end.

  7. Lake Forrest Residen
    February 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    My daughter is in La Vergne Middle now as a 7th grader and I am doing all I can to get out of La Vergne before she gets to High School. I had already heard bad things about La Vergne High and this only goes to strengthen my opinion about the school and about getting her out before it's too late. La Vergne has turned into Antioch South and keeps going down hill every year.

  8. MIKE SLINKER
    February 25, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Lake Forrest Resident,
    I appreciate your candid response and concern. I may have some information you will be interested in. Feel free to call me at 738-8883. My child is also in 7th grade at LMS.

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    • Sherry
      February 26, 2010 at 9:37 am

      Care to enlighten the rest of us who are already stuck at LHS?

  9. Cee Dee
    February 26, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I think I'd go with those who have children there already for "information". So glad my children graduated from LHS b/4 all the bad stuff started. Now it's the worry about the grandchildren. My grandson is not really thrilled with Mr. Ash going with him next year, but I've advised that he already knows Mr. Ash, knows what he expects, what he doesn't tolerate, etc., so it should be like an "old shoe" for him to be comfortable with. He's never had any problems with Mr. Ash. Respect the principal & he'll respect you — go & learn — let the principal take care of the other.

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