I'm trying to read a book from John Taylor Gatto called: Dumbing Us Down.

I faced this sentence and I wanted to know what's the meaning of the sentence, especially, these two words 'signed passes'.

The sentence is:

The best teacher I had was one who signed passes so students could skip other classes to go to her classroom and work on whatever they wanted.

  • In some schools, a teacher can write a pass, or permission slip, on a paper. Her or his signature is required to validate the pass. Here, the pass is to allow the student to go to that teacher's room. Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 22:05
  • The teacher wrote notes excusing students from attending another teacher's class and signed them. Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 22:13
  • Oh man, a a thousand thanks. You're awesome. Thank you so much dude.
    – Gustavo
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 23:35
  • Oh the irony of what you're asking us to do, given the books title! Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 1:21

1 Answer 1


American schools (I’m not sure about other countries) require students to have a “hall pass”, usually simplified to just “pass”, to be excused from their assigned class. These passes must be signed by a teacher or administrator to be valid. If a student is caught in the halls during class time without a pass, they will get in trouble.

So, in the quote, one teacher is signing passes to let students skip their classes with other teachers and come to his class instead. The other teachers would presume there was a valid reason for this, but it seems “the best teacher” was doing it to let the students goof off.

  • StephenS thanks for the reply. It was so cristal clear. Your answer was perfect. Thanks bro :)
    – Gustavo
    Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 22:13

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