As is typical for this time of the semester, I have students who are ghosts - they show up on my roster, but have yet to attend a class, turn in an assignment or otherwise make themselves known.
It is a relief to tell the bureaucrats to cut them - a few less exams to grade, reports to file, homeworks to pile up.
Yet I wonder why, what happened, could it have been stopped, and my worries now carry extra weight in light of my own life. I got lost in the shuffle, in the larger world of four PhDs who forgot about me, ignored me, didn't remember that I told them I needed something. Did these folks get lost? Did they feel ignored? Or were they just so caught up in being young and foolish that they didn't belong in college in the first place? Far too may of these folks are locals - did they go home too often, watch the Colts and forget about class? IS it s local problem? An Indiana problem? Does my teaching style induce amnesia?
No Child Left Behind has left behind the best 25% and the worst 25% and focused upon the middle half who can get through, pass a test and not rock the boat. How do we teach the need to go the extra mile?