Saturday, January 19, 2013

I attempt to get the ear of the Board

Here is the letter I broadcast to the U of W profs in an attempt to get the Board of Regents to hear my grade appeal:


Some of you may have noticed that a student from the Faculty of Education is suing the university. I am in fact that student, and I am seeking your assistance on a small matter. Prior to my expulsion from the program, I was given low or failing grades on a number of assignments. I made a formal appeal of what I considered the most egregious case of unfair marking, and that appeal was recently rejected by the Departmental Committee. I believe it is my right to make a further appeal to the Board of Regents; however, several previous attempts on my part to reach that body were ignored during the course of the procedings against me over the last winter.
I do not have contact information for members of the board other than the Chairman Craig Lee, who has not responded to my earlier correspondence. I feel that there might be other members of the board who would be interested hear my case, if only I could reach them. I have no illusion that they would be sympathetic to me; I simply feel they might find it prudent to know what kind of fight they are being dragged into by the University administration as the litigation proceeds. I am therefore making a general appeal to people within the university community to pass this message on to whomever it may concern.
The work in question was a collection of lesson plans for teaching science, assigned us by Prof. George Bush for 30% of our grade. I was given a mark of 40%. I think you know that’s a pretty low mark in Education. It tells me that based on the work I handed in I am not qualified to teach in the schools. In fact, I am very proud of what I did on the assignment, which I have posted on the internet for your information. I wish to argue before the Board of Regents that I was lowballed not because of the quality of my work but because the instructor simply felt that I was a troublemaker who needed to be put in his place. The low mark was especially punitive in my case because other people did it in groups of three, whereas I had to do the same amount of work all on my own; this was because having been identified as a troublemaker by the instructor, other students were unwilling to jeopardize their own grades by working with me.
I hope you will want to read my project, which you can find here:
If you choose to read it, I should explain how it came about. We were asked to prepare a lesson cycle consisting of three lessons in Science. During a class discussion, the professor and I had disagreed as to whether it might be reasonable to begin the Grade Eleven Chemistry course with an introduction to the concept of moles. I argued that it could be done, and the professor argued the opposite. He became in fact quite snippy, and attempted to cut off the discussion by observing that I “obviously knew very little about chemistry”. (I was a double major in Physics and Math.) I therefore decided I would use this assignment to show just how I would teach Grade Eleven by starting with the mole. I think I did a pretty good job, and I think that offended the professor. I don’t think it helped my case that I identified an embarassing error in one of the experiments in the Manitoba Curriculum guide, of which Professor Bush was one of the authors.
Finally, I hope you will appreciate that I have no definite plans to carry on an email campaign with regard to these matters, but in the event that I have further information which I may wish to communicate, you can have yourself removed from this distribution by so requesting via return email. You can also learn more about the present conflict by following my blog at

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