ZANGLE - SOME TEACHER'S COULDN'T BE BOTHERED Schools & Kids, posted by ZANGLEWASTEDTIME, a resident of the Charter Oaks neighborhood, on May 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm
I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THE TEACHERS IN OUR PLEASANTON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT ARE __NOT__ REQUIED TO USE, PROMTLY UPDATE, OR OTHERWISE FOLLOW GUILDLINES FOR ZANGLE USE. I HAVE FOUND SEVERAL DIFFRENT LEVELS OF PARTICAPATION BY THE TEACHERS. IN FACT, I THINK WHAT EVER THE LEVEL OF EFFICENCY AND ORGANIZATION THAT IS USED BY THE TEACHER WHEN USING THE ZANGLE WEB SITE IS A GOOD INDICATOR OF THE TYPE OF PERSON TEACHING OUR KIDS. COME ON PLEASANTON UNIFED SCHOOL DISTRICT PUT IN PLACE STANDARD REQUIRED GUILDLINES FOR PARTICAPATION OF THE ZANGLE WEB SITE. I HAVE ALSO BEEN TOLD IT MIGHT BE A UNION ISSUE THAT CERTAINLY NEEDS TO BE LOOKED INTO.
Posted by Nancy s, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm
Per their contract, the teachers cannot be REQUIRED to use Zangle. I for one think this is ludacris. Zangle is an efficent way for teachers, students and parents to keep up to date. Its appaling tht some teachers dont want to learn. You are in the learning business, learn how to use zangle, come into the 21st century with the rest of us.
Posted by Tamara, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 8:37 am
We came from a private school in Southern California that always used an online program (that is the same as Zangle) and I have to tell you that the accountability & level of information shared was amazing! I am totally missing that here as my daughter's teachers at Foothill High almost never use it. I was happy to see this post because I can't understand why it has not been made mandatory. It really is such a great tool for all of us.
Posted by New mom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 8:51 am
I agree. We are new to the school district and I get the feeling the schools DO NOT want the parents in the loop in middle school or high school. There is one open house at the beginning of the year which (understandably so) gives no time for individual interaction with the teachers. There are NO teacher conferences (still shocked at this one... been in schools in three states and this is the first for that). Some teachers don't update Zangle or answer emails.. or do respond with uppity responses. How are we supposed to know how the children are doing if we have no infomration?
True example at Foothill, my child was missing 3 assignments according to Zangle. My child tells me the teacher hasn't updated. There were two weeks left in the semester. I emailed the teacher to verify. I get a curt reply 'I am not finished updating Zangle". The teacher then removes all grades from Zangle for the class and does not repost them till the semester is complete. OK... so how are we supposed to know what is what? If my child is not handing in work, I want to get an answer from my child. Additionally, sometimes, teachers make mistakes... like we all do.. this is OK. My kids have had incorrectly missing grades or incorrect grades on Zangle. But if the teacher won't update Zangle or give any information then we are all in the dark... students and parents.
Ironically, the certain honors english teacher at FHS that doesn't keep Zangle updated.. is the one who puts the most pressure on the kids about success.
Posted by teacher, a resident of the Avignon neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 10:23 am
If you have a problem with a teacher not using Zangle then a more productive way of handling the situation would be to either email the teacher directly OR speak to the administration at the school. Complaining about it on the Pleasanton Weekly will not accomplish anything except open up another thread about how poor some people think teachers in Pleasanton are.
Posted by Involved Parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 11:11 am
I agree with the posters that say that the teachers should be required to keep the Zangle updated for all of their students. The teachers are teaching our children who are going out into today's world. Not the world of yesteryear! The teachers expect our children to be computer literate and timely but we are not to have the same expectation of them.
BTW, have you ever tried to go to the administration to have anything changed? That's just a huge waste of time.
Posted by parent of graduates, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm
We saw Zangle be adopted. Few teachers used it the first year - used to the way they were doing it, not exactly intuitive and why spend time transcribing. The last is still around. I think the kids were in elementary and middle school. Our problem was with the oldest writing things down - often not correctly. His vision is checked annually and he has always been 20/20. In 8th grade and high school many teachers said (included in Back to School night) "I don't use Zangle. In college your children will not have it. We are preparing them for college." Others used it - some consistently, the majority not. Now my kids had "regular", "easy college credit" and "AP" classes - the responses were the same across the board. It was teacher not curriculum based. Also sometimes there were changes in assignments and Zangle, when used, was not updated. (Get a classmate to give your child the proper assignment if your kid is sick.)
It was a good idea, but unless used, it is a waste of our money.
Posted by New mom , a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm
I have to disagree with the argument "In college your children will not have it. We are preparing them for college." My oldest is in college and they DO have a system similar where they can access their grades. In fact, even parents,with the student's permission, can get access to check only the midterm and final grades.
So if I have contacted the teacher and her response is to take down all the grades, I don't think that further contact will help.. And NO, I'm not going to make a big deal to the administration, because i don't want my student's grades affected by the teacher. She has made it clear that she does not want parent intervention. It's not a huge deal for me... my students do their work (and I feel very lucky about that).
I think the schools need to find a way to keep the parents informed...via conferences, email, or zangle-type systems. It is a little little ironic that when parents don't do their job and a child gets in trouble... people wonder where the parents were, but when parents try to do their job, by checking their student's grades, they are accused of being overly protective. (Not that any of the posts so far have done that...but it is a common response)
Posted by agree with New Mom, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, on May 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm
I agree with you 100%. Going to the teacher or administration with anything that remotely sounds like a complaint will have your child/student paying the price. Sad, but true. Luckily I have a good student too, but asked a question once, and my kid paid the price in the classroom the rest of the school year. Really, really sad.
Posted by teacher, a resident of the Avignon neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm
Vinny--your comment makes no sense. And it is "you're", not "your.
I do keep Zangle updated and have a class website as does every teacher in my department so I'm curious as to exactly why all these crazy non-Zangle updating teachers are that people are complaining about here? Sure there are a few that don't but the majority at my school definitely do.
Posted by Yo teacher, a resident of the Carriage Gardens neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm
Before you critique another's spelling, perhaps you should check your own post:
"I do keep Zangle updated and have a class website as does every teacher in my department so I'm curious as to exactly why all these crazy non-Zangle updating teachers are that people are complaining about here? "
WHAT?? oh yeah, do as we say, not as we do. got it.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I can't believe all the assumptions regarding the teachers who don't use Zangle..wow! I would never assume that a teacher doesn't use Zangle because s/he a)doesn't want to learn; b)is ineffective; c) is not computer literate or doesn't support the use of computers.
I like Zangle and think it's a good tool, but I disagree it should be "mandatory" for teachers to use. How on earth did my parents raise three college graduates (two of us with advanced degrees) without once checking our grades online? Oh, wait...there was no "online". And, I went to a public high school in S.F. that was and is held in the highest esteem throughout the country and guess what - there were no conferences, no emails, really no correspondence between my parents and the teachers AT ALL. It's high school!
It is time for students to become more independent and not have us constantly checking on their assignments and grades. I'll even admit that I look at Zangle, but only on occasion. If my student wants to go to college, it's up to her. Her older sister is already in college and there is no way to check grades. I have open communication with her about grades though, because she knows she has to do well in order for me to continue paying her tuition.
Posted by New Mom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 16, 2012 at 9:52 pm
That's great for you. It sounds like you have great students. However, bot everyone is so lucky, And every student is different... some kids need help getting themselves organized and someone looking over their shoulder. They are still learning. Zangle is a great tool for parents to help their kids get organized. And it's not just high school.. middle schoolers also have grades in Zangle. My 8th grade son was recently ill for an extended period of time. It was very helpful to find out what he missed and to help him get caught up.
By the way, When I was growing up I went a great high school also and they had conferences, and there were also phone calls. Teachers did communicate with parents, but in a different way. Just because it hasn't always been around, doesn't mean it isn't useful or have a place. My mother in law used to tell me her kids never rode in car sears and they all turned out fine.
I think the issue is that I have found is that the teachers that don't update Zangle are also the ones that are reluctant to communicate with students or the parents. But to have a teacher who will remove ALL grades until the end of the semester because she can't keep it updated and is tired of people asking questions isn't right either. (for the other teacher, that is an FHS english teacher). MOST teachers do a great job at keeping it updated.
No, I don't look at it every day. But it is helpful to check every once in a while and know where things stand so there are no surprises. It's better to know where things stand and be able to address problems earlier rather than later... would you agree?
Posted by They never get rid of bad teachers/administrators, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 17, 2012 at 10:45 am
...yep, that explains it, Teacher.
It is amazing what unionized employees get away with when there is no downside to non-performance and no one ever loses their job (unless they are arrested and convicted of some heinous crime, and even then, it probably needs to be videotaped).
Posted by Been Here, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm
My kids are out of school now but I always found that the teachers who used Zangle and updated it regularly were the teachers that had an excellent reputation in the community. (Yes, for teachers reading this: you do have reputations in the community.)
Zangle is an accountability tool. It holds students and teachers accountable. My kids were good students so I did not check it much but my kids did because they wanted to see their grades for the semester and to make sure there was no problem or missed assignment on the record.
Teachers make a big deal (as they should) about assignments being submitted by a due date so they really need to hold themselves accountable as well. My son had an AP math teacher who took three weeks to record scantron grades. This teacher routinely gave tests before grading the last one - that was because tests were scheduled by the math department. This was unacceptable so my son went to the principal and dragged his father along for the meeting and, I have to say, things changed after that. However...it depends on the principal. If the principal wants to be friends with teachers....well, good luck. The buck has to stop with the principal and the superintendent.
We should all lobby the school board (however futile it may seem) to require teachers - as part of their contract - to use Zangle and to update it within a certain time frame.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on May 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm
I have a child in elementary school and have never heard of Zangle until now. Is this a HS-oriented product? My child's teacher sends home weekly assignment schedules and I feel pretty involved without using a specific online tool.
Do we REALLY want to specific a particular tool? Wouldn't it be the same as specifying that teachers use Windows or Mac? My opinion is that we should specify requirements rather than tools and let teachers decided how to fulfill them. Perhaps Zangle is an easy way to satisfy the requirements, but maybe there are better tools, or tools that a particular teacher feels more comfortable using.
I work in high tech and find it silly when people view tech as an end in itself. Tech is simply a tool, and we shouldn't force teachers to use a specific tool as long as they fulfill all of our expectations and requirements.
Posted by Yo Steve, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on May 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm
Steve, it all changes once your child is out of elementary school. You'll see. Zangle is a great tool for students, parents and teachers. I really don't see what the big deal is.
And it holds students and teachers(some downright lazy ones, yes, we've had our share!) accountable. Ask any parent with older kids. The best thing you can do is get involved with your kid's school, help fundraise, volunteer, and know who the 'good' teachers are, and don't put up with the lazy ones. If all parents demanded that their kids get moved out of the lazy teachers' classrooms, we might not have to put up with them year after year. And before all you teachers get worked up here, you know your co-workers even better than we do and you know who the lazy ones are and how you have to pick up the slack for them when you get their students the following year. At my kid's middle school, the 8th grade math teacher could guess who had "teacher X" for 7th grade. How ridiculous is that?
Posted by Been Here, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 18, 2012 at 1:11 am
Every parent of a young child in Pleasanton should read the last post (above). It is the real scoop on kids and their education.
Steve....Zangle is a great tool. If teachers post grades, you can see them right away - a great thing if your high-schooler wants to go out with friends...when you can 'see' he hasn't done his best in the past week academically.
(If only all teachers would use it. And that is the point!)
After raising 4 kids - all who are OK, in great colleges and 3 of them now in jobs that really make us feel happy, grateful and relieved, - I have to tell you, it was an uphill fight for *years* on *end* and it is coming your way.
Believe me, Steve, Zangle is your friend...if the teachers use it. And that is the key component.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 29, 2012 at 12:19 am
Zangle is a wonderful tool and should be required to be used by all teachers. To be honest, I have found that the teachers who use Zangle also happen to be the best all around teachers. They care about the student's performance and have mututal respect for the work that was completed and turned in. PUSD had one AP teacher - who is currently in the administration ranks - and that teacher never corrected/returned one assignment that was turned in. He wouldn't use Zangle. He went the entire semester with no feedback on written papers and no grades assigned to anything. He'd just say, "oh I think you're doing fine". Last time I checked - fine is not a grade on the transcript. Talking to the Principal about the situation proved useless. When we confronted the teacher directly.....guess what.....a grade was picked out of the hat and assigned. There was no feedback on the essay papers at all. Every student knew this and just hoped they'd be okay if they didn't push for a corrected paper.... If Zangle was required - this could not happen.
Posted by They never get rid of bad teachers/administrators, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm
Part of the issue that parents face and employers face is the surprising realization that even though an elementary or high student or even high school graduate or EVEN a college graduate gets all As, it doesn't matter.
No matter what the grading tool, the problem is Johnny still can't read. Johnny can't put together a readable sentence, either.
With grade inflation, this is what is happening from
"Employers report that many college graduates lack the basic skills of critical thinking, writing and problem-solving and some employers find they must hire English and math teachers to teach them how to write memos and perform simple computations."
Posted by Tim, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm
I don't think we should rule out the possibility that some teachers, responding to a higher calling, may opt to use or not use Zangle. In all honesty, I can find no reference to Zangle in the scriptures. And so, as the scriptures do state, it is God's word that rules us, after all, and we should not attempt to trump God's word with some or another school policy or procedure.