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altai_rose
08-09-2010, 02:10 AM
Kasey, I completely agree with you.

In college I had one class where I think the professor was nuts.
We had 2 exams, a midterm and final. For the midterm, on a scale of 100, not one got above about 48. I think I got a 40. I was going to drop the class and when getting the prof's signature, he said I had a solid B and I continued. Final was about the same, and I got a B for the class.
But it felt fake, I did not have a sense of accomplishment or gained knowledge when the class was done. We got our tests back, combination of multiple choice and essay, and it looked like I knew nothing.
I heard from others that is the way he always was.
Was the class and exams very difficult?

Almost all my college science and math classes were graded on the curve. 60 or 70% correct of a difficult midterm exam might be the highest grade in the class--therefore, the student would get an A. I actually preferred taking more difficult exams graded on the curve than taking easier exams that weren't curved...

In high school I didn't care about grades until my senior year... but I always had the impression that a B was "average" at my school.

musicgurl
08-09-2010, 02:28 AM
I apologise for the slight OT-ness of this post. But when I saw the thread the first thing I thought was, what will Peppermint Patty do now?

cruisin
08-09-2010, 03:28 AM
Sorry. I'm bitchy, but I think it's about time something gets done to tighten up the "passing of students who should really fail, but we can't allow that to happen" stuff that gets done. With all the stories that come out about how some schools are not allowed to fail students, how some schools don't allow a valedictorian because it "hurts the feelings" of the other students, blah blah.....I was glad to hear about this a few weeks ago. Just a personal opinion that we go out of our way to wussify our kids and society in general an awful lot; this was refreshing in it's being the opposite.

(No, I'm not a parent)

Kasey, I completely agree with you. Kids should not pass if they deserve to fail and teachers and parents need to stop making excuses and bailing them out. However, :( I do not believe that Mt. Olive's* decision will do that. I may be cynical, but I think this will just push F students to Cs rather than Ds. And we will have kids with higher grade point averages getting into colleges they don't belong in. I sincerely wish this decision would accomplish what you are hoping for.

*I know the town, and I know it's a town filled with intrusive "not my precious child :eek:" parents.

Prancer
08-09-2010, 06:30 AM
This thread reminds me of someting the Portuguese education minister said a few weeks ago. She said that she wanted to end with disapprovals, meaning that students wouldn't have to repeat a school year, even if they don't have good grades. The students would receive extra classes to help them. I find this very stupid. I felt like throwing something at the television when she said that!

There are studies that show that students do better academically if they don't repeat grades but go on the next one and get tutoring and extra help.

PDilemma
08-09-2010, 03:25 PM
*I know the town, and I know it's a town filled with intrusive "not my precious child :eek:" parents.

And those parents are driving these policies. I had a parent stalking me around town over his kid's grade once. (And, no, I did not call the police. He was a high level officer in the town's department). I had parents calling me at home at all hours of the day and night over grades--and they always managed to get our numbers no matter what we did. I got caller ID so I wouldn't have to answer 1 a.m. phone calls from insane parents. Seemed like a partial solution, until they started calling the principal and complaining that they called and left messages and some teachers didn't call them back for hours. He told us all we should return calls within 30 minutes if we weren't teaching and refused to listen to anyone's explanations that some of these calls were in the middle of the night.

I had parents yelling about their kids' grades in the middle of the grocery store more than once. I frequently had kids lie to their parents about assignments in order for me to be blamed for their bad grades and the parents always choose to believe their kids. Administrators never take the teachers' sides so they can keep these crazy people from calling their houses at 1 a.m.

This is why schools are giving up.

As to the valedictorian thing...I would be in favor of schools getting rid of it, not because of "hurt feelings", though. Many of our teachers were pushing for that because of the insanity it produces in parents. This last spring, there were two girls at the top. One of their mothers harassed the other girl and her family for two months over it with nasty phone calls, some of which should have been reported as threats, and several incidents of intimidation in person. She also tried to intimidate teachers into changing grades so that her daughter would be number one--not that was anything new. When her daughter was a junior, she tried to get me to just change a B- to an A because her daughter played volleyball and didn't have the energy for American government class or "ever need that information" but she needed the A in order to keep her valedictorian hopes alive. When she was a senior, this woman came in for an hour long conference because she and her daughter were upset that the girl was not my pet in the class. Exact quote: "she's so used to being the teacher's pet and you are treating her like the rest of the kids; you have to understand how unfair to her that is".

This was certainly not the first insane parent I saw in a valedictorian race in 16 years of teaching high school. And that's the reason most teachers I know are in favor of eliminating it.

GarrAarghHrumph
08-09-2010, 03:29 PM
It also artificially raises the kid's grade point average and effects kids applying to colleges from other schools.

That's why it's rarely about GPA alone, re: college admissions. Things like class rank matter, percentile matters, etc.

cruisin
08-09-2010, 03:49 PM
That's why it's rarely about GPA alone, re: college admissions. Things like class rank matter, percentile matters, etc.

But, unless I don't understand it, GPA is how they are ranked. I realize that testing is a part of admission, but some colleges are lessening the value of, or doing away with, SATs and other standardized tests. Other things are considered, like sports, community service, and college essays, but GPA is still pretty influential.

The thing is that all of these parents who interfere and make excuses for their kids, do them no favors. Eventually these kids will be adults and responsible for their actions. Mom and Dad won't be able to argue for promotions at jobs and cry over their child not being the boss's pet. But the kid has been so trained to not accept responsibility, that the will never deal with having made a mistake or being wrong.

Prancer, I agree that leaving a child back should not be an easy answer. There are many psychological and social problems that go along with being left back. I agree that when a child is struggling tutors and extra help should be gotten. But, the problem is that some parents don't provide the extra help for learning the lessons, they fight with the teachers to fix the grade. I'm telling you - like you don't know that ;).

I do know one boy (in my daughter's grade) who was left back in elementary school (2nd grade). He started out a year ahead of my daughter. When the teachers decided it was best that he repeat the grade, the parents agreed, but took him out of the school. He went to a parochial elementary school, then came back to the town schools for middle school. By then the other students didn't remember what grade he was in, and he did not get the nasty remarks he'd have gotten if he'd stayed in the elementary school. I think that was a situation where the parents did the right thing.

agalisgv
08-09-2010, 04:24 PM
some colleges are lessening the value of, or doing away with, SATs and other standardized tests. Some universities are rethinking ACT/SAT scores, but that doesn't apply to all standardized tests. AP scores say a lot, as do subject matter tests. So while there's been a deemphasis in some places on general standardized tests, that hasn't really been the case with subject specific standardized exams.

MikiAndoFan#1
08-09-2010, 04:36 PM
There are studies that show that students do better academically if they don't repeat grades but go on the next one and get tutoring and extra help.

I didn't know that. Thanks for pointing that out. Well, if this gets approved, I hope Portuguese students start receiving better results.

cruisin
08-09-2010, 04:46 PM
Some universities are rethinking ACT/SAT scores, but that doesn't apply to all standardized tests. AP scores say a lot, as do subject matter tests. So while there's been a deemphasis in some places on general standardized tests, that hasn't really been the case with subject specific standardized exams.

That is why I said some and lessening or doing away with. Because it is not across the board, nor does it apply to all types of tests. However, in de-emphasizing some standardized testing, the GPA gains importance. If some schools change the grading structure so that GPAs are effected, it can cause issues. Let's face it, everyone wants their kid to get into the best school they can get into. But, do we want them to get into schools where they will struggle? Especially, if they are from parents who have fought for their right to be lazy and mediocre and still get superlative grades.

agalisgv
08-09-2010, 04:57 PM
in de-emphasizing some standardized testing, the GPA gains importance. Not in the way you think.

High schools are placed in a sort of ranking system with many colleges (certainly top tier ones), and colleges know the grading systems of those schools. So an A in one high school won't have the weight of an A in another.

That's one reason why parents send their children to certain schools--the reputation of the high school matters.

If any high school were to inflate (or deflate) their gpa's, it would be noted and students from those schools would be evaluated accordingly.

I would also say when grades don't match-up to subject-specific standardized test scores, that's also accounted for by colleges. In that way, why the general standardized tests are sometimes deemphasized, subject matter tests become highlighted. A student who hasn't mastered the material and received an inflated grade will have that reflected in their test scores.

cruisin
08-09-2010, 05:25 PM
Not in the way you think.

High schools are placed in a sort of ranking system with many colleges (certainly top tier ones), and colleges know the grading systems of those schools. So an A in one high school won't have the weight of an A in another.

That's one reason why parents send their children to certain schools--the reputation of the high school matters.

If any high school were to inflate (or deflate) their gpa's, it would be noted and students from those schools would be evaluated accordingly.

I would also say when grades don't match-up to subject-specific standardized test scores, that's also accounted for by colleges. In that way, why the general standardized tests are sometimes deemphasized, subject matter tests become highlighted. A student who hasn't mastered the material and received an inflated grade will have that reflected in their test scores.

I understand all of that. I still feel that changing the grading system confuses the process. There really should be a standard system. Obviously there will still be schools that have better reputations, but if the math is the same, it makes the comparison easier.

GarrAarghHrumph
08-09-2010, 05:42 PM
But, unless I don't understand it, GPA is how they are ranked. I realize that testing is a part of admission, but some colleges are lessening the value of, or doing away with, SATs and other standardized tests. Other things are considered, like sports, community service, and college essays, but GPA is still pretty influential.

I'm talking their percentile rank within their own school - top 1%, top 5%, top 90% (i.e, bottom 10%) etc. So as long as the whole school pretty much follows its own grading system, you should still end up with kids falling into pretty much the same percentiles within their own school.

And as another poster said, college admissions, especially at competitive schools, tends to have a really good idea for what the grading systems are at different schools. They know which inflate, and which do not, etc.

PDilemma
08-09-2010, 06:00 PM
And as another poster said, college admissions, especially at competitive schools, tends to have a really good idea for what the grading systems are at different schools. They know which inflate, and which do not, etc.

Grade scales have to be printed on official transcripts since most colleges want to see exactly what the A on the transcript means.

cruisin
08-09-2010, 06:33 PM
Grade scales have to be printed on official transcripts since most colleges want to see exactly what the A on the transcript means.

I didn't know that. Is that a fairly recent thing?