Teacher Says Her High School Was Pressured To Promote Students That Didn't Deserve It — ‘We Can't Fail Hundreds, It's School Reputation’

Her story highlights a concerning trend in schools today.

frustrated teacher sitting at desk in front of white board Chiarascura / Shutterstock

More and more stories are emerging regarding how abysmal school standards have become. It seems like the goal, now more than ever, is to simply get kids across the finish line, no matter what it takes.

One teacher opened up about how that was true at her school, and she was seriously concerned by it.

A teacher claimed that her school was pressured to fail as few students as possible.

An anonymous teacher posted to Reddit looking for input and opinions from other teachers after coming to a sad realization.


“I worked slightly more than five years as [a] high school teacher,” she said in the Teachers subreddit. “When I started in 2019, I was satisfied by the average level of students. It was basically the same of [my] own high school period.”

RELATED: Teacher Quitting After 24 Years Says The ‘New Type Of Parent’ Is To Blame — ‘We Have Become Babysitters’


“But since [then], every year it got worse, and this year was a negative peak,” she admitted sadly. “Most of my 18-year-olds can’t stay focused 10 minutes in a row, completely lack creativity, ambition [and] any out-of-school interest.”

The teacher explained that the problem wasn’t just bad grades but a complete sense of apathy.

It’s not just taking F’s to easy assignments, it’s having nothing to care about inside or outside school,” she said. “It’s so sad.

This teacher felt like she was one of the only ones truly concerned about this tragic problem. “Other teachers noticed the same, but they don’t seem preoccupied by the long-term problem,” she stated.


Thankfully, not everyone is in this situation. “It’s a huge school. We have some A students,” she said. “But right after them, we have … hundreds of C-D students.”

“The average level is [shockingly] low,” she said. Despite this, the teachers are almost required to pass as many students as possible. “We were pressured to promote many students that really don’t deserve it because ‘we can’t fail hundreds, it’s school reputation.’”

This teacher is seriously concerned about the future of these students. “One day our students will be doctors, engineers … They can’t even do basic tasks. It’s shocking,” she lamented.


RELATED: Student Accuses Teacher Of ‘Hater Behavior’ After Receiving A 55% On An Assignment That Was Less Than Halfway Done

The issue of promoting kids to the next grade to maintain a school’s reputation is very real.

Doing things like passing kids who should be held back, along with pressuring them to get high test scores and even allowing them to graduate when they shouldn’t have become commonplace in schools today.

The National Education Association said, “With little data to go on, states use standardized test scores to identify the lowest performing schools and assign grades or ranks, in accordance with federal law. If a school continues to underperform on test scores, attendance, or graduation rates, the district may take over or close the school altogether.”


It’s not only school reputations on the line. It’s whether or not these schools can even stay open, continuing to employ teachers, administrators and other staff. No wonder there’s pressure to promote students.

Fellow teachers shared their perspectives in the comments.

Many other teachers offered their own thoughts on the situation in the comments of the post. 

According to one teacher, “The state uses [the] graduation rate as a metric for measuring a school’s quality, so admin will make sure everyone who doesn’t actively drop out will graduate in four years.”

“This is the root of the problem,” another added. “Schools have become daycare centers so the parents can work, and they … [pump] the kids through the system to keep funding up over dealing with the endless headaches that students, lawyers, and parents cause when trying to ensure the students are learning and staying on task.”


While each school and student is different, it seems clear that there is a disturbing trend in schools now where teachers are almost forced to pass students who may not have earned it. 

This is incredibly concerning and something that needs to change. Our future depends on it.

RELATED: Teacher Admits She's 'Not Allowed' To Suspend Her Second Grade Students Even After They Tried To Break Into The Principal’s Office

Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.