Could the reasons so many schools don’t educate be that they don’t even try? A memo obtained by the New York Daily News from a principal in an East Harlem high school urges teachers to not try harder:

“If you are not passing more than 65% of your students in a class, then you are not designing your expectations to meet their abilities,” Principal Bennett Lieberman wrote in a Nov. 28 memo to teachers at Central Park East High School. “You are setting your students up for failure, which in turn, limits your success as a professional.”

The memo is insulting to students: “[M]ost of our students … have difficult home lives, and struggle with life in general. They DO NOT have a similar upbringing nor a similar school experience to our experiences growing up.” And this, if true, means they don’t deserve an education?

There might have been a pecuniary motive to dumbing down the curriculum: “One teacher who received the memo said she and her colleagues were “outraged,” especially because the school is one of 200 where teachers will receive $3,000 bonuses if their schools improve. “