"That's all I did," said Mr. Lou. "Hallelujah! Eventually 97.41% of the students who were failing math now believe the correct answers. Since their statements, I have to trust that 97.41% of the previously failing students now understand math completely. "
"The reason for the 2.69% who are still failing is due to the sad fact that some students would not follow through with publicly acknowledging belief in the problem by placing a checkmark by the answer and dipping and rinsing their hands in the nearby basin," said Mr. Lou.
"Without boldly professing their belief in the answer on the board, they will not receive an A," said Mr. Lou. Mr. Lou told them they did not have to have a great understanding to receive an A, just a public confessing that the answer on the board was correct. "Those 2.69% have not yet followed through."
Roger Bankston, a previously failing 10th grader maybe said it best, "The method is so simple. It's as easy as A, B, C, D: Admit, Believe, Check, Dip. If you can remember A, B, C, D, you don't need to worry about the F!"
A student first admits he has not previously understood. Second, he must believe the correct answer is on the board. Third, he needs to place a check by the answer, as a public confession that he believes the answer. Fourth, he must dip his chalky fingers in the basin because Mr. Lou's the teacher and that's his fourth requirement.
Mr. Lou has had some students who he felt truly believed they understood the problems on the board and followed the ABCD plan. But they did not appear to be living like they believed the problems. Mr. Lou did not suggest that they complete the full ABCD's again. He just asked them to rededicate themselves to the math truths by walking the aisle again and placing a checkmark by the correct answer again. They were not asked to dip their fingers in the basin a second time.
Mr. Lou has also had a student every now and then who later admits that he did not really believe the first time he lined up in the center aisle. "I don't take away their A's on the old report cards, but they will only receive F's unless they follow the proper steps in their entirety."
Mr. Lou also had an awkward situation where a student wanted to walk straight over and wash his hands in the basin, without confessing the problem to be correct or placing a checkmark by the answer on the board. That student was not given an A.
In celebration of their A's, all A math students were given a pizza-bite party with grape Kool-aid. The purpose of the pizza-bite party and the Kool-aid is to give the students a reminder that they truly have sufficient math understanding. "Anytime someone tries to tell you that you don't understand math, you remember this moment," says Mr. Lou. "You remember that you lined up in the center aisle, placed a check by the problem on the board, and washed your hands of the chalk."
The pizza-bite and Kool-aid party really helped to encourage the non-party-ing kids to decide to choose to get an A in math. The partiers told their friends, and that's why the initial 50% numbers jumped to 97.41%.
TBNN did ask how the students performed on Stanford Achievement Tests given nationwide. We were warned that the SAT's were not accurately assessing the mathematical achievement of Mr. Lou's A students. "This points to a major problem with so-called 'standards of truth,'" said Mr. Lou. He argues that we must reconsider the national standards. "There are obviously local differences in math understanding that standardized exams are not picking up. Math in Ohio is not always the same as math in West Virginia. The local math understanding is more important in the daily life of kids than a so called 'standard of truth' nationally. My students are A students, regardless of what the national tests show."