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  1. #21
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    Jul. 15, 2006
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    VA
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    I find this topic interesting and pretty timely. I think they should be graded on the work they do and if they fail they fail, but it needs to be fair.
    My 11 yr old sons teacher this year is pretty tough, there are some things I don't mind her being tough about, like taking off points for no name or date, by 11 they can remember to put their name and date on the paper. However past practice hasn't prepared him for this toughness. I hate it when he puts a ton of effort in on a project, and does pretty good work and the comments are all negative. I think she grades him fairly but the comments take the wind out of his sails.
    He is a smart kid, reading and math above grade level, but he was never required to put this type of effort in. I am glad she makes him do it, but I do feel like he is a bit shell shocked by it to, I wish his past teachers were just as tough.
    Railgirl.blogspot.com



  2. #22
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    May. 26, 2011
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    The best response I have ever heard by a teacher to an administrator who wanted to put this BS in was "I can't grade air.". The rest of us looked at the principal and said we would not implement that policy. As I told her, she was justsetting these kids up to be fired.
    "I couldn't find my keys, so I put her in the trunk"


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
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    Jul. 15, 2003
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    2,632

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    I don't think it does students any favors to get credit for doing nothing.

    My younger son goes to a tech-oriented charter high school, and was in a charter Montessori before that (my older son went to that Montessori charter when it was a private school - they kept the faculty, but opened the school. Good idea.) It was a good merge from one to the next. I love the way the high school actually pushes the children to excel. A "D" is unacceptable - passing is "C" or better. The math teacher will not grade unfinished work: all homework must be complete and correct. He will stay all afternoon, every day, with the students to ensure they understand their homework. In fact, all the teachers are available after school and really work with the students to make sure that they truly understand what is taught.
    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom



  4. #24
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    Feb. 24, 2005
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    Teachers should teach a lot and grade leniently. That means that they should teach more than they expect the kids to actually learn, so that all kids in the class have an opportunity for maximum learning and that all kids get exposed to more information. That benefits all students as it maximizes their learning in the present year and facilitates their learning in future years. Since, so much is being taught the grading should be lenient to compensate for that heightened level of teaching. Too many schools in America teach the minimum and grade hard. This doesn't test the level of knowledge, and does not maximize the learning of the kids. It is easier, however, for the teachers.

    Addressing "grade inflation" arbitrarily and in a single institution or program is very damaging to students. It is not fair to students. If one school is grading hard and one is grading average, the students who receive the bad grades are unfairly penalized. My kids were in schools that graded ridiculously hard. As one of my kids graduated, he did a major project comparing the high school programs in the district, with intereviews of students, teachers and parents. The IB program that was so focused on grading hard was changed as a result of his investigation. It is not fair and it is harmful. It is not a policy that is intended to help students. It is a policy that is intended to help teachers, administrators, and schools and more importantly the image they think it projects. Such schools are not putting their student's best interests first.

    And any teacher who "cruves down" is incompetent and should be corrected or fired. If a teacher gives a test where the curve is higher than it should be, he gave an inadequate test and he should adjust his test, but it is not fair to curve an A in physics down to a B just because the teacher's tests in the class were inadquate to appropriately test the subject matter.

    A school's obsession with "grade inflation" can really seriously harm students' futures and is usually accompanined by a lazy administration and teaching staff.



  5. #25
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by horseymum View Post
    We have a grading policy and in the lower level courses if they only turn in 3 of 5 assignments I must base their whole grade on those, I am not allowed to penalize for work that is not turned in......
    That makes no sense at all.
    So the kid who only bothered to do one assignment can have the same grade as a struggling kid, who put effort in and did all five assignments?

    That just seems wrong.

    No work, no points.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
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    Jul. 29, 2006
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    Colorado- Yee Haw!
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    2,813

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    I think the privacy issues we have in this country are a problem. I did college in the US for two years where everything was anonymous and posted by random secret number. I then did two years in Ireland where they posted grades by name in order. I much preferred the second system. Way less drama. Someone had a bad test- you took them out for a beer. You didn't have the drama queens freaking out about how bad they did when you know that meant a 93.
    Life is relative. To keep your job you have to do better than the other guy. To get a good grade- same thing. It's all part of our society's desire for lack of accountability in my mind. Bring back transparency and personal accountability.
    It will also show that everyone had strengths and weaknesses.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
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    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Chesterland, OH USA
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    My fifth grade daughter's class rewards mediocrity and "everyone wins". Their assignment due dates are ALWAYS pushed back because not everyone has it done. They played a Social Studies Jeopardy game yesterday and the losing team was given an inordinately high value question so they could tie at the end. I am lucky that my daughter is self-motivated and wants to do well, even if it is not currently recognized at the school.

    On the other hand, her fourth grade teacher was a tough but fair grader. She had to struggle to get A's, as it should be. The parents talk about him as if he is evil personified and beg the school not to assign their kid to his class. My daughter told me she misses that teacher.



  8. #28
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    Montana
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    5,141

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    I home schooled my kids for several years and they are in their first year back in public school now. Thankfully our small town is very traditional and grades are grades. That's how I raised them at home so I'm very glad the school isn't giving them any passes on things that I wouldn't have given them at home.

    My daughter is really struggling with a class and will sometimes throw an excuse at me but I tell her it's her job to learn it. I help her, obviously, but I don't let her wallow in an excuse.

    Both kids are getting nearly straight A's and we're all super proud of them because we know they are REAL A's.

    I think in a very generalized way schools are no longer just about school. They're about health care and child care and child welfare and propping up what is often missing at home. It's lopsided. My kids see it all the time, even in our great little traditional school they have a lot of problem kids. My son nearly came to blows with a kid that insulted his favorite teacher to her face in class... they're so unruly and the school doesn't seem to be able to do much about it. Son's English teacher transferred him to another class b/c she said the class he was in was so loud and obnoxious it was holding him back b/c she had to spend so much time just attempting to control the other kids. If it were up to me I'd kick all those kids out of there but then they would be canvasing our whole town getting into trouble all day too. The teachers are good, they pluck out the "good" students and focus on them, my kids are getting TONS of attention, but they sure battle with the turds.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Feb. 18, 2003
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    Alberta
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    5,315

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    There was a huge issue with a teacher in Edmonton. He had the balls to give a zero on an assignment that wasn't done, and all hell broke loose. I guess they have a policy that there's no zero's just "incompletes"........Personally I agree with the zero and think kids need to start learning how to be accountable for what they've done/not done. How on earth does one incorporate an "incomplete" into the overeall final grade anyway? Is it just ignored as if it never happened........sigh.............
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
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    Dec. 20, 2012
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    Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    That makes no sense at all.
    So the kid who only bothered to do one assignment can have the same grade as a struggling kid, who put effort in and did all five assignments?

    That just seems wrong.

    No work, no points.
    You are telling me....the best is the kid, 20 years old but still a kid, who gets the parents to email me asking that I grade easily as they need my course as an "arts" elective for med school......really????

    I remember the guy in Edmonton, I thought "way to go"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
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    Mar. 16, 2000
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    Chatham, NY USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    ...This is not just text speak, this is genuine lack of knowledge. How is this not getting caught in school?

    As an aside, I AM SICK OF HEARING PEOPLE BLAMING TEXTING. It can't just be texting.
    Lack of grammar, spelling, manners - and a lot of other things - can't be blamed on texting. If proper (all of the above) were taught in school and expected by parents, then all you'd have to do is show where one is accepted and where it is not.

    I remember being completely awed by Sarah Ferguson's answer to how her children learned to behave. She taught that there were '3 sets of manners. Manners when we go to grandmama's house to eat; manners when you eat in the dining room with mummy & daddy; and manners when you eat in front of the telly with mummy." If 3 or 4 yr old kids can learn that, why can't 10-18 yr old kids learn where textspeak is acceptable and where proper grammar is required?

    My other peeve (as a former English/SocStudies teacher) is the primary focus on regurgitation. Anyone can look up facts - especially now, with Google/BING/etc. LEARNING takes place when you can use these facts to draw conclusions, make assessments, figure out why & how. A monkey can find out what, when, where, & who.

    Aaahh - don't get me on THAT soapbox.

    My deepest sympathy to today's teachers. I'm sure that more than one has thought of the GM quote (not sure it's really accurate, but) that every child [rider] should be born a [wealthy] orphan. I'm thinking a great deal of teaching would be far simpler without parents. Then again, sometimes we yearn for parents to BE involved. No happy medium.

    Carol
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
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    Mar. 16, 2000
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    Chatham, NY USA
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    Couture, "And you know why the big difference? Its not the teachers, its the parents the teachers deal with. These parents didn't want there kids at a school where everything is geared at the lowest student. So the teachers aren't getting yelled at to make sure everyone passes."

    I taught 6th grade English/SocStudies at a private girls' school. Some of my students had parents like that. Others (strongly supported by the school administration) were of the firm belief that their little darlings were gifted & talented (they must be, school brochure says that's the only kind they accept). As such, they all were accustomed to receiving high grades (numeric, I believe, as opposed to A, B, C). One student received an 85 on a test. She obviously hadn't studied too hard. She was absolutely horrified - almost to the point of tears - and told me "I CAN'T get an 85. I won't be able to get into Harvard!" Sadly, she was SERIOUS. Every time I recall this, I congratulate myself, because I refrained from asking her if she truly felt that Harvard would give a royal rat's A$$ if she got an 85 on ONE test (NOT a final) in 6th grade. What ridiculous pressure to put on a 12 year old.
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast



  13. #33
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    Sep. 27, 2000
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    Southern California - on a freeway someplace
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    Community college professor (AKA Evil Chem Prof) here.

    If you miss something you get a zero for it. I drop the lowest lab score and the lowest quiz so you can miss one without penalty. I don't drop a test but will do some sort of a makeup or normalization if a student misses a test due to a legitimate, documented excuse. Late lab reports are penalized at -10% for each commenced week (a commenced week being similar to a commenced second in jumpers or a commenced cell phone minute). Now if someone gets violently ill and has to miss two quizzes, I'll probably help them out by normalizing one missing quiz or using their next test percentage, or something. Likewise, if someone turns in one lab report a day late and talks to me about it first. Chronic lateness is not good.

    I also have a firm policy about re-grades. They have a week to re-submit it and then the statute of limitations has run out. Otherwise you will get people coming in at the end of the semester with a whole stack of tests and quizzes that they wish to milk points out of. Re-submissions have to be submitted in writing (no arguing you case verbally) and I reserve the right to re-grade the entire exam. The latter is reserved for those students who try to milk 1-2 points on assignment after assignment.

    All educators should watch the movie Clueless. Among other things, there is a great quote from a dad to his daughter saying that he was prouder of the grades she got via negotiation than if she had earned them in the first place.

    I have a pretty high proportion of pre-health types so my experience is probably skewed. Many of my students want to do well and quite a few of those want to learn.
    The Evil Chem Prof


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #34
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    Mar. 25, 2010
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    Putting on Flame Suit. I personally think that we need to bring back tracking. Eg grouping students based on CURRENT ability. When I went to school we had four tracks, 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. One was gifted, four was assorted learning disabilities, 2 and 3 were slightly above and below average. This allowed the teacher to teach to the groups ability level not the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately, today it seems like most teachers have to work to the slowest in the room. My daughter is in high school (public, she had her choice of keep horses and go to public hs or sell horses and she could go to private hs, shes choose her horses). It seems like the only way for her to get challenged is to take honors or ap courses. Freshman year she took all reg courses, and complained bitterly about how easy/boring it was. This year she is in honors geometry and ap world history. But only regular english (I could not convince her to do honors eng even tho she was qualified/chosen for it). Next year she plans on honors alg 2, ap us hist, and ap eng because she has figured out that is the only way to be in a room with kids who care about learning.

    There is a good education to be had at her school, I am actually very happy with it, BUT the students have to want it, and have to make an effort for it. My daughter has been tutoring French students after school for her teacher, and she and her teacher get so frustrated when the kids dont' show even when they said just that day that they would be there. They just don't care.

    NOne of her teachers have had any issues with giving her a zero if she doesn't turn something in. OTOH, at the end of the semester they seem to give "bonus" points for things like unused hall passes. Maybe they feel that is a reflection of the student putting effort in the class if htey aren't running to the bathroom all the time?


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  15. #35
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    Mar. 25, 2010
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    just a clarification - the track four mentioned above where the "assorted learning disabilities" were grouped was then and is now, wrong. They grouped physical handicaps together with extreme learning handicaps. These kids need to be placed appropriately according to their ability and with appropriate support staff for success. For example I know of a girl who has cp so bad she can't walk or talk but she can tap out answers on her special keyboard, and apparently she tests as gifted, so that is where she is placed with an aide to assist. Talk about guts. Since she can't write she solves the math problems in her head.



  16. #36
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    Jan. 13, 2012
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    Herkimer Co., NY
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    Checking in as a mom of a seventh grade student with an IEP, who is involved and in contact with all my daughter's teachers.

    I like assignments to be graded on content, and if it's not turned in on time it should be a zero or points taken off, which ever policy a teacher decides on, but little Suzie shouldn't get full credit for turning it in Friday if it was due on Monday. Little Tommy shouldn't get full credit for a piece of paper that has a proper heading and then seven different song lyrics instead of the answers to the seven history questions. Little Carol should get credit for the 9, of 10, correct answers instead of getting a zero because she had one incorrect answer.

    The thing that irks me the most is when I ask a teacher a specific question and get a pat answer back. Yes I know that my child is unorganized, lacks time management skills and is inattentive, but that doesn't answer my question about if she's been coming in to see you during lunch to get extra help.



  17. #37
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyoteco View Post
    Teachers should teach a lot and grade leniently. That means that they should teach more than they expect the kids to actually learn, so that all kids in the class have an opportunity for maximum learning and that all kids get exposed to more information. That benefits all students as it maximizes their learning in the present year and facilitates their learning in future years. Since, so much is being taught the grading should be lenient to compensate for that heightened level of teaching. Too many schools in America teach the minimum and grade hard. This doesn't test the level of knowledge, and does not maximize the learning of the kids. It is easier, however, for the teachers.

    Addressing "grade inflation" arbitrarily and in a single institution or program is very damaging to students. It is not fair to students. If one school is grading hard and one is grading average, the students who receive the bad grades are unfairly penalized. My kids were in schools that graded ridiculously hard. As one of my kids graduated, he did a major project comparing the high school programs in the district, with intereviews of students, teachers and parents. The IB program that was so focused on grading hard was changed as a result of his investigation. It is not fair and it is harmful. It is not a policy that is intended to help students. It is a policy that is intended to help teachers, administrators, and schools and more importantly the image they think it projects. Such schools are not putting their student's best interests first.

    And any teacher who "cruves down" is incompetent and should be corrected or fired. If a teacher gives a test where the curve is higher than it should be, he gave an inadequate test and he should adjust his test, but it is not fair to curve an A in physics down to a B just because the teacher's tests in the class were inadquate to appropriately test the subject matter.

    A school's obsession with "grade inflation" can really seriously harm students' futures and is usually accompanined by a lazy administration and teaching staff.
    You come down hard on teachers and want them to "teach more." The day we start paying them for this kind of "above and beyond" effort, we can expect it. But it should come as not surprise that current grading suits adults rather than kids. I don't think K-12 teachers are winning so much as are the administrators who want/need great measurements of success from their schools.

    I have only graded at the college level. I can explain how and why I grade but that would take fo-evah.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #38
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    Sep. 27, 2000
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    Agree with the poster about the tracking. We have this STEM grant with students in the program ranging from many who are in the first intro chem class to some that are in second-semester organic chem and some that don't have enough math to take intro chem. We did a workshop and they grouped all these levels of students together. Most of the sessions were pretty basic and bored the most advanced students while scaring the least prepared ones. I suggested tracking at one of the planning meetings and was told that was elitist or non-PC or some such thing.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  19. #39
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    Mar. 25, 2010
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    elitist is exactly what I was told when complaining at local hs about the mix of abilities in the classroom. If I had a slower child I would still want them tracked to be able to be taught at a speed/level they can learn at, and be moved up a track level if their skills become more proficient. I personally think we are setting up the slow kids for failure and the top students for boredom because in many classrooms neither of their needs are being met. And I really feel for the poor teacher who has to try to teach one topic at several levels, make it easy enough for the less skilled students to understand but challenging enough for the advanced students to not feel like they just wasted a day at school.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #40
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    Dec. 7, 2008
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    10% off the top deduction/day for each day an assignment that is late is quite fair, IMHO.

    On a separate note, students who are planning on attending top tiered schools really can't afford to get B or C grades in high school. I'm getting on my soapbox now, but I personally think that B or C grades do not indicate a mediocre student. I've personally found that learning how to fail (or just be less than perfect) is a really important component of an education. Whenever I see a student with a 4.0+ GPA I think two things 1) this kid got a pass from his/her teachers in a number of classes and/or 2) this kid didn't take any risks in school--great minds take risks, and they often don't pay off, but it's important to take them anyway.

    That said, if I were teaching bright students who had ambitious college plans, I would be honestly afraid of giving them "realistic" grades. This isn't because I believe in cradling egos, but because GPAs and transcripts matter, and a bright kid with a less-than-perfect track record is going to have a much harder time getting into a good school than a cookie-cutter perfect student. High school teachers hold a lot of power over the future of their students, and I would probably be willing to reward a student who tried, failed, learned from their mistake, and then tried again at the next opportunity vs. just giving them a "realistic" grade for their mess up.
    Last edited by c'est moi; Feb. 21, 2013 at 11:03 PM.


    2 members found this post helpful.

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