U.S. History teacher Michael Banner reportedly exaggerated the impact of his students’ upcoming quiz on their final grades, as well as the impact of the events of the 1870s through 1890s on their daily lives.
For the past week, Banner’s daily lessons have included warnings that the Monday quiz “could severely impact” his students’ grades for the quarter, although the 10-question Scantron examination about the Gilded Age is only one of several assignments that together only account for 15 percent of their final score.
Similarly, Banner has overemphasized the effect the contents of his class will have on their lives post-graduation. He has, throughout the school year, allegedly told students that understanding the Panic of 1893 on the American economic climate would directly benefit them in the future.
“This quiz will be as important to their grades as the Cross of Gold Speech was to supporters of President Grover Cleveland,” explained Banner. “I worry that these students aren’t approaching these assignments with the intensity they require. Before they know it, they’ll end up like the campaigners for free silver who underestimated the power of William Jennings-Bryan’s oratory. And we all know how that turned out.”
Other staff at Horace Greeley High School seemed to agree with Banner’s teaching style. Physics teacher Lisa Stamm said, “Sure, Michael’s teaching methods may be somewhat unorthodox, but it’s the truth. The only way I can get my students to understand the importance of force being equal to mass times acceleration is through rigorous testing and constant reminders that this is something adults use everyday.”
At press time, Banner was explaining to his students that the era was coined the ‘Gilded Age’ because it was plagued by serious social problems, which they will undoubtedly suffer from as well if they fail Monday’s quiz.