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Menlo Atherton Algebra Class Travesty

Original post made by MA Bear, Menlo-Atherton High School, on Nov 16, 2012

This article was published in the Menlo Atherton student newspaper:
Web Link

I read it and wondered if it was student humor. I hope it's not true. What a travesty of taxpayer funded education!


Math teacher Manuel Delgado has now been absent for exactly a month, leaving his five Algebra I classes without lesson plans. Students are worried about their ability to succeed after their teacher’s lengthy absence.

Delgado left school to attend court over his discontent with the school after he failed to accept the settlement of his last case. Principal Matthew Zito has also been called off campus for the trial.

Meanwhile, Delgado did not arrange for a substitute, leaving no teaching plans and few materials.

“The first week or two we didn’t really do anything because [Delgado] locked up everything. He didn’t let anybody use anything, he would write notes on the computers saying they weren’t working so that people wouldn’t use them. He took the eraser and the smart board pens and locked them in a drawer, so that no one would use them or be able to. So we basically used our fingers [as pens],” freshman Diana Bojorquez.

Diana Bojorquez’ description of Delgado’s classroom clearly portrays the tone of the confusion and discord that has persisted in his absence. Delgado’s semi-permanent substitute Mr. Callan forged a note from Delgado on the board in order to ease the confusion from Delgado’s lack of communication with his classes.

Because Delgado’s absence is such an extended one, students risk missing a month’s worth of material and some worry about failing Algebra I.

Many students expressed their worry with regard to failing the class because of Delgado’s absence. Sophomore Sophia Sorci has even more to lose as she explains: “I already took this class, so I don’t want to take it three years, and I’m worried I’m going to have to take it again because he’s gone for so long.”

While Mr. Callan is credentialed to teach history rather than math, he recognizes the concern of many of his students and has therefore been teaching himself the material a week in advance and using the lesson plans of the other Alegbra I teachers in attempt to keep the class somewhat on track.

Regardless of his efforts, it is still a struggle as “it is hard because he is learning the material while we are learning it,” explains freshman Briana Martinez.

Although students are getting some instruction thanks to Mr. Callan’s efforts that far exceed the usual duties of a substitute, there is still worry among the students regarding their semester final. If Delgado returns before the end of the semester students worry about the possibility that he will give his classes his own final while they have been learning the material of other Algebra I teachers for the past month.

Comments (3)

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Posted by Katie Woods
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I am an editor for the M-A Bear News who worked on this particular story, and it was actually not written as a satire, but as an informative piece. The teacher who had been absent for over a month was attending his trial versus the Sequoia Union School District. We just wrote another article detailing the major arguments in the case and the final verdict, which can be read here: Web Link.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2012 at 7:08 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is a horrible reflection on the principal and the school board. It is there job to provide for substitute teachers.

Can you imagine a business that just abandoned its customers for six weeks? Such an organization would go out of business.

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Posted by Health
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Dec 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

"Can you imagine a business that just abandoned its customers for six weeks? Such an organization would go out of business."

Unless it's a health insurance company.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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