No more D's in school

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by orbitz, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Schools in Mount Olive, N.J., are getting rid of D's in the fall. The grade scale will be A, B, C, or F.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/education/08grades.html?_r=1&hp

    The argument for this change is that students who would have just wanted to get by with D's will now try harder to at least get C's so they won't fail.

    Well, I wouldn't want to pay for "C"-quality plumbing, pilot or restaurant either. So get rid of C's also and then school will only unlease A's and B's (or F's) students into the real world :).
  2. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    Very strange. C's used to be average, B's good, A's excellent, D's below average and F's fail. I find it strange to go from average straight to fail. Is B supposed to be average now? To never give a C is to always have above average work given in, which I find very unlikely. Average plumbing I would definitely pay for, below average would depend on why it was considered below average, can they do the work and it's not presented well, the products they use are not a good quality, or can't they do the actual work?

    Can the pilot fly the plane, but he just doesn't dress well and has a vulgar mouth, or can't he fly the plane? If he can fly the plane but dresses shoddily and has a vulgar mouth so got a D, I'd pay less and go for the D rather than pay for a well dressed, sweet talking A who flies the plane the same way that the poorly dressed pilot. Or I'd go for a C if he's just okay dressed and just speaks okay. I'd rather pay for the flying abilities, than go for the A that dresses well, has great manners etc. It all depends on if they can get the job done.

    At school, you're rarely graded on just one thing at a time, especially in language based subjects. Essays are graded on content, format, referencing etc. Miss the ball on one of those and you can get a D (below average) but maybe your content is excellent, so you shouldn't fail.

    Beijing grades restaurants. The only ones that have A's are those in the posh hotels that cost a fortune, some nice but not too upmarket have B's, most of them have C's. The grotty ones have D's. They all have edible food that complies with regulations, or they'd be shut down (which would be like an F). Some days, I'll eat from an A, some days I'd rather spend less and go the grotty but still edible D.

    It bugs me when people equate academic learning to "real life". In real life, most occupations allow for researching to find answers, rather than needing to remember that thing *now* like is required in exams. My doctor even looked up something one a medical site while I was in her office the other day. In real life, people with D's at school often get by just fine, and those with C's do too. Even at university, there was a saying "C's'get degrees" - you all get the same piece of paper in the end. Schools should be just as much about the experience, and learning to get along with people as about the grade, especially with a lot of subjects being compulsory. Those D's keep people in school, F's probably won't. Some people need a lot of below average/D work before something clicks.
  3. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I think it's ridiculous. They are claiming that kids get "Ds" when they should fail, but the teacher is pushing them through, to get them out of school. Why should a kid, who is below average, but not failing, fail? Will "C" now be the new below average? Will kids that are being pushed through just get "Cs" now? Will more "Bs" be given wrongly? In order to have a middle/average, there should be an odd number of grades. Average, and two steps up for excellence, and two steps down for failure. Consistent "D" students are probably not flying planes, plumbing contractors, or doctors. What about kids who get "Cs" & "Ds" in high school, because of maturity, but turn themselves around in college and become very successful?

    There is another town in NJ (forget which), which has recently made news because they decided to change the "F" = failing grade to an "E" = failing. they determined that "Fs" make the kids feel bad. Yeah, and changing the letter will make them feel good? They are also claiming this as a brilliant "new" idea. The school system I grew up in used "E" = failing in high school. For some reason they thought "A", "B", "C", "D", "E" made more sense than skipping over the "E" for "F". We all knew what "E" was and those who got one, did not feel "better".

    The whole thing is just idiotic.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  4. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    My school system in NJ used this 30+ years ago.

    As far as I knew, this was the reason.

    Or there may have been an F grade as well, but it was only given in specific circumstances.

    We knew that E was failing. There wasn't any pretense that it was better than failing.
  5. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'd certainly go for a 'D' airline stewardess, if you know what I mean.
  6. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

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    Accustomed to being marked out of 20 (in France) or 100 (in England), I struggle with the concept of fitting pupils' work into a mere 5 categories to start with....

    Sounds to me like pupils who used to be scraping Ds are now going to be getting Cs :shuffle:


    Having said that, in many French primary schools they're doing away with marks altogether. Not sure if it's a good or a bad thing - maybe for some, but I just can't imagine how boring primary school would have been without the little satisfaction of being to obtain good marks! :lol: It was bad enough as it was.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  7. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    As in 34D? :lol:


    Yes, I was in HS almost 40 years ago. So, this is hardly a new thing.
  8. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Milly, typically tests, papers, projects, homework are graded on a 100 point system. Then they break the points down into 5 grades. 93-100=A, 86-92=B,
    79-85=C, 72-78=D, and anything below 72 is an F. The breakdowns are not always done the way I show above, sometimes it's based on 10 (90-100=A, 80-90=B, and so on). But that is how it works. So, essentially if you score less that 72% correct, you fail in some schools, hardly a middle point.
  9. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

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    Oh ok, that makes sense :)

    Although failing with 72% doesn't really :shuffle:
  10. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Most schools I know go by the 10-point system. So the highest possible passing is a 60 (D-) and from 59 down you get an F or a E.
  11. JumpinBug

    JumpinBug New Member

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    We've been A/B/C+/C/C- for a long time now. I don't use F because it's difficult to give... we first have to go through I paperwork long before a formal report, and then the I can eventually be converted to an F. Though it's frowned upon by admin. I did give one I this year, and counsellors and the principal kept the kid in with them at lunch until enough work was done.

    I usually just keep my kids in until I get enough work that can get them 50%/C-. I really don't like what many teachers do, which is just give them the C- so that they don't have to do the paperwork.
  12. JumpinBug

    JumpinBug New Member

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    A quick clarification... when I said I don't use F, I meant that I don't include it when I list off grades... because it's just not seen very often. I DO use it as a last resort as a teacher, but they're rare and very difficult to give.
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I think it's a state or district thing. When I grew up in NJ it was as I said above. We still live in NJ, but a different county, and it's also what I put above in the schools my kids went to. I think in college it was based in 10.

    Milly, I agree 71% should not be a failing grade.

    What I wonder is in Mount Olive (which is not that far from where I live, and is in the same county), will dropping the D mean anything below 70-78 is failing? Or will they make the categories bigger? I mean, if their numerical range is the same as ours, a 78 would then be failing :eek:
  14. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

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    In my schools, the 100 pt was:
    90-100 A
    80-89 - B
    70-79 - C
    60-69 or 65 -69 D
    59 or 64 and lower F
    +/- is the bottom 2 or 3 points in each score - 91 = A-

    In Elementary school we had:
    E - Excellent
    G - Good
    F - Fair
    U - Unsatisfactory
    So that is pretty much the same as A,B,C & F
  15. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    High schools I taught in had this scale:

    93-100=A
    86-92=B
    78-85=C
    70-77=D
    69 and below failing (F).

    As I understand the article, this school was on the ten point scale (90-100 for an A and so on) which puts failing all the way down to 59%. They are just leaving the scale wide for A, B, and C and making 69 and below failing which is the scale at many high schools. Not such a big deal.
  16. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    My High School went

    100-86 A
    85-73 B
    72-66 C+
    65-60 C
    59-50 C-
    49 and below F
  17. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have to say that scale would have made my life easier--far fewer parents whining because their kids didn't get A's or B's!!
  18. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    There are some schools - post-secondary ones at that - who don't give Fs. For the courses that give grades (as opposed to credit/no credit courses), the lower grades (below C- or D) are variations on NC (no credit). The reason being that it would hurt the poor students' self-esteem too much to get a big bad F WHICH MEANS FAIL :rolleyes:
  19. Yehudi

    Yehudi Well-Known Member

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    I went to a pretentious, wannabe-British, prep school where we didn't have grades, we had "forms" and, up until the colleges demanded a coherent grading system, had

    HH (Highest Honors)
    H (Honors)
    HP (High Pass)
    P (Pass)
    F
  20. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

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    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!

    :lynch: :wall:
  21. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

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    My university was

    A = 90-100 (why no A+s?)
    B+ = 85-89
    B = 82-84
    B- = 80-81, sometimes 78, 79 depending on the professor

    etc etc

    I got a D- in a required math class. I'm glad they did D's or else I would not have graduated. All m other grades were A's. :p
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  22. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    It still seems rather pointless. And unfair to kids who are struggling.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  23. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    I find the whole concept a bit strange. Getting kids to try harder to get a C just because a D isn't an option? How about the kids who struggle just to get a passing grade in a course that doesn't fit their abilities? Seems to me that a lot of talented future artists, musicians, dancers, car mechanics, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and such may get totally screwed over by this change. BTW, I got a D in chemistry in high school. No way I could have gotten a C, even if I stopped studying everything else to raise my grade.
  24. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    The primary schools I taught at were
    A = 90-100
    B = 75-89
    C = 60-74
    D = 50-59
    F = <50

    In some way I'm more partial to the unsatisfactory/satisfactory/very good/excellent scale - it doesn't mention 'failing', just how their performance is perceived.

    I had a parent bitch me out because her daughter received a 'B'. It took me so long to convince her that how grades are perceived is different than how it was even 10 years ago. That while a 'B' used to be considered 'average' it now means 'above average' and a C used to be kind of an 'oh no' grade but now means 'average'. Really though, it's all just letters and in elementary school, really, the letters don't matter.
  25. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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  26. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

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    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.
  27. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

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    :huh: Thank you very much. I happened to graduate with a 3. something GPA and among the top 100 out of 365 Seniors at the high school I went to in Virginia and I managed to get my Abitur in Germany - and I'm a dancer/artist.
    Just because you're talented in an artistic field doesn't mean you suck in school. I also don't think being talented in any of the fields you mentioned is an excuse for bad grades.
    However, I do think that it's silly to take out one grade. It's like when they changed the level names of the dance school I went to in France and all of a sudden those of us who had been in the highest level went a level below because they said it now was a different name. Actually, that way, they got another year of our money.

    It's an illusion because those who previously got Ds won't automatically get Cs now because they maybe can't do any better. But of course, the school looks better if they can say, at our school most kids have a B average or whatever instead of a C average because now the grade system is different. That detail though won't be mentioned.
  28. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    It also artificially raises the kid's grade point average and effects kids applying to colleges from other schools.
  29. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Didn't mean to step on any toes. My niece is a dancer and was 2nd in her class at a competitive high school and now has a PhD. Through her, though, I got to meet many kids who just plain struggled in school. They were very bright, just not standardized test bright. Many of them got very discouraged, and I just see this as a possibility of making it worse for the kids who are already just barely hanging on.
  30. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    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)
  31. altai_rose

    altai_rose Well-Known Member

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    Kasey, I completely agree with you.
    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.
    Kasey and (deleted member) like this.
  32. musicgurl

    musicgurl I know a place...

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    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?
  33. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    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.
    Kasey and (deleted member) like this.
  34. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    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.
  35. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    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.
  36. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    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.
  38. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    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.
  39. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

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

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    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.