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Lowering the bar when it comes to school

noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
Recently there's been a bit of controversy in my city due to many of the new rules that the Dallas Independent school district have set up for the school semester.

This rules, and no, I'm not making any of them up are;

- Teachers must accept late assignments and cannot penalize students for missing deadlines.
- Students who fail tests must be given a chance to take the test again, and the teacher must take the higher grade
- Homework grades will only be counted if they improve a student’s grade.
- Teachers cannot assign a student a zero for an assignment unless they call parents and make “efforts to assist students in completing the work.”
- Teachers who fail more than 20 percent of their students, for whatever reason, will need to develop a professional improvement plan (yes, for themselves, not the lazy student who never turned anything in and failed) and will be monitored by their superiors.
- Under no circumstances can a student make below a 50% during a 6 weeks, even if they never turn a single piece of work into the teacher.

The superintendent defends this new policy;
We want to make sure that students are mastering the content [of their classes] and not just failing busy work," he said.

"We want students to get it right, and we want to make sure that they do get it right."

If that means teachers will be required to extend an assignment deadline, or let students retake exams, so be it, he said.

Trustee Jerome Garza also saw much in the new protocols to like.

He liked the consistency of having the same rules apply to every teacher and every student districtwide. That should help parents predict what to expect from teachers and provide some stability for children who change schools midyear. Mr. Garza also praised the rules for requiring teachers to take preventive steps, like conferring with parents, before giving students little or no credit for missed assignments.

"If we've got somebody who is beginning to fail, we've got to bring parents in before it is too late," he said.

Trustee Nancy Bingham, a former teacher, said she does not agree with the requirement that teachers accept late work with no power to impose a penalty, but she does think that students sometimes need "a safety net" that some teachers are unwilling to provide.

While she said she found most of the new rules "reasonable" she didn't think they would have much impact on truly lazy students or those who openly defy their teachers.

"If the kid is hell-bent on failing, they're going to fail anyway," she said. "But some kids need a cushion, or a safety net."

Dr. Hinojosa said the new rules are aimed, in part, at helping curb the district's alarming ninth-grade failure rate. Each year, roughly 20 percent of the district's high school freshmen fail to advance to the 10th grade. Many eventually drop out.

Dr. Hinojosa cited new research that determined ninth-graders who are flunking two or more classes in their first six weeks of high school are almost doomed to become dropouts.

"Our mission is not to fail kids," he said. "Our mission is to make sure they get it, and we believe that effort creates ability."



As someone that's close to finishing his teaching degree, this seems kinda fucked up. I don't want to pull the "In my day.." thing, but seriously, those the new policy make sense to anyone? Any teachers that visit the forum agree with the policy?

Edit; Here's some links, cause yeah, this does sound made up.
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/081508dnmetdisdgrades.48e6cc22.html-

http://www.dallasisd.org/academics/gradepolicy.htm- Official DISD website

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Link?

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    Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Really? That's not bullshit? They're actually doing that?

    That's fucking stupid. I mean, it's just...it's so fucking stupid. There isn't much more I can say about it. All that's going to do is make bad students even worse.

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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    It's the sane reaction to the "if you fail kids at all, you lose funding" method of giving schools money.

    Edit: The problem is the way schools are funded, although taken out of context, this is fucking ridiculous.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Hmmm....most of those seem a bit absurd, but failing 20% of your class is pretty ludicrous. It would suggest to me that something you are doing is wrong, either teaching, testing, or assignments.

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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    It can't be worse than how things are now.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is basically the problem when you assume the education system to be flawed, isolated from the failings of macro and micro societal views of education and the individual failings and shortcomings of the children themselves.

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    SanguiniusSanguinius Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Wow, just...wow.

    That isn't going to prepare kids for anything. I mean, if by some miracle kids graduating from that school get to university, they are going to get raped.

    Didn't hand in your essay on time? 5 days late? At the uni I went to, that's 50% off your grade. 10% a day, unless you have a seriously good reason. And 'I was sick' doesn't cut it - I was sick with a doctor's certificate still doesn't really do it either.

    The real world can be even worse - I missed the tender deadline by 5 days. In that instance, there is no appeal process or anything else. It's pack up your desk and get the fuck out, because you just cost us a shit tin of business.

    I remember being a kid and being massively pissed off that teachers would extend deadlines. I was conscientious enough to get stuff done and handed in - why the hell should I have to bust my ass when other's don't?

    That policy is just going to make kids who aren't interested in school cruise on by, and make it damn hard for teachers to enforce any kind of scholastic discipline on their students.

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Also, for all the "oh my god this is going to coddle kids too much" hand-wringing, I don't see this as being a big deal.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    Also, for all the "oh my god this is going to coddle kids too much" hand-wringing, I don't see this as being a big deal.

    I think more than coddling, it creates a terrible sense of entitlement in a lot of kids.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I'd like to qualify my previous statement to except AP/honors courses. But regular-ed courses should not be seen as "weed-outs." This is high school, not a law degree. 20%+ failing is unacceptable.

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I'm going to confine my comments here to the 9-12 portion of the grading guidelines. Some of these new guidelines only apply to grades 2-5, and if you're outraged that we're not cracking down enough on lazy 8-year-olds not doing their homework then I dunno what to tell you.
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Teachers must accept late assignments and cannot penalize students for missing deadlines.

    False:
    Students must be given at least one opportunity to submit late work not related to an absence. Grade penalty should be determined by grade level/department teacher teams and approved by the principal
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Students who fail tests must be given a chance to take the test again, and the teacher must take the higher grade

    True, but within 10 school days.
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Homework grades will only be counted if they improve a student’s grade.

    False, at least for high school students. This guideline appears only in the grades 2-5 section.
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Teachers cannot assign a student a zero for an assignment unless they call parents and make “efforts to assist students in completing the work.”

    False. It is recommended, not required, that a teacher call the parent before assigning a zero.
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Teachers who fail more than 20 percent of their students, for whatever reason, will need to develop a professional improvement plan (yes, for themselves, not the lazy student who never turned anything in and failed) and will be monitored by their superiors.

    I don't see anything wrong with this.
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Under no circumstances can a student make below a 50% during a 6 weeks, even if they never turn a single piece of work into the teacher.

    Correct. However, misleading. If a student completes a 6 week period with a grade below 50%, they are given an Incomplete for that 6 week period.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

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    glithertglithert Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well...Speaking from my own experience, had I gone to a school with policies like that, I would be the most insufferable, lazy, self-entitled dickhole in existence.
    I can't see how any of this is a good idea.

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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    So what does an incomplete mean? My schools never had those. Well, my college did but we're not talking about college years.


    Anyways, what WOULD be an acceptable failure rate? 10%? 5%? The 20% intended to be a 'idiot light' on the car that is teaching. If you somehow manage to fail 20% of your FIFTH graders then that might be an indication sure. However I think we should also consider where the 'normal' rate of failure should be. Also, 0 isn't realistic. Some kids are dumb, and passing them just because they're young isn't really going to solve anything.


    That being said, failing 20% of highschoolers would be...less damaging. Especially if it was not consistently that high a percentage.

    Anyways, I think most of these rules are kind of ridiculous but I haven't thought about them very hard yet.

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    BedigunzBedigunz Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Thinking about it, 20% isn't that high (in my opinion) of a fail rate.

    Of a class of 30 students, that's 6 kids.

    I don't think that's a totally accurate representation of a teacher's skill if 6 kids fail but the other 24 kids are passing with A's, B's, and C's

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    TubularLuggageTubularLuggage Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    That's even more retarded than what they tried here.
    Last year our board introduced a policy (just for our school to test it out), that assignments had to be accepted at full value regardless of how late they were. It was repealed when the students demanded that it be gotten rid of.

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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Not to mention that those 6 kids are, more likely or not, purposefully failing the class by ditching and stuff.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Bedigunz wrote: »
    Thinking about it, 20% isn't that high (in my opinion) of a fail rate.

    Of a class of 30 students, that's 6 kids.

    I don't think that's a totally accurate representation of a teacher's skill if 6 kids fail but the other 24 kids are passing with A's, B's, and C's

    Unless you're teaching in the high school from Lean on Me (before Morgan Freeman shows up), that's a pretty high number. I can't think of a single class in high school that actually had six burnouts in one room, especially since said burnouts tend to drop out after the first couple years anyway. But even in freshman/sophomore classes, it was pretty rare to see a 20% fail rate.

    Unless your entire school is running a 20% fail rate, which is unlikely, a rate that high is often going to be indicative of a teacher that doesn't give a shit. Either who is poor at instruction, writes unfair tests (and just doesn't care enough to curve or improve them), and probably does absolutely nothing to try to work with struggling kids to boot. Think about it: how many classes did you fail in high school?

    Besides, it's not like they get fired. If they happen to roll a craps and get six slackers in one class, it's unlikely to happen again next year so it'll probably be a temporary issue at most.

    As much as I believe that some kids should fail (I don't even favor social promotion in elementary school), I think that in general 20% in a single class should be a warning sign regarding the teacher.

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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited September 2008
    I wish I had the option to have homework not count.

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    TheLawinatorTheLawinator Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    If they had this at my school right now, I'd have a 5.0

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    DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    While in college, a head professor taught us that it was expected to have students grade follow the normal bell curve, meaning most students will get C's, some will get D's&B's and very few will get A's and F's. He led a department, and said that if he wanted to review a teacher, he could apply this to them, and should expect (I forget exact numbers so please forgive my math, as well it was a bad college what can I say) that the class is hard enough that 2 people should fail and 2 people should have an A out of 30 people, with most students in C range, and a few in D-B range. And if on average x amount of people were not failing, he would dicipline the teacher for the class being to easy. He was also kind of crazy.

    Its solid math if C is average and acceptable for a student (when it isnt anymore at all in my experience, especially pre college).

    I don't think its necessarily right to expect this to be applied in public schools anymore, due to it being a horrible knee jerk reaction, but it would certainly help put things back in a sort of balance, since going to college is the new high school diploma for a professional job.

    I have to agree though with this being a little skewed, I was a lazy ass fuck who pulled barely a 2.0 in college/high school. With the modified above for high schooling I would of 4.0'd it. Looking at these students grades really would be the same as looking at the grades of another student from another district.

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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Bedigunz wrote: »
    Thinking about it, 20% isn't that high (in my opinion) of a fail rate.

    Of a class of 30 students, that's 6 kids.

    I don't think that's a totally accurate representation of a teacher's skill if 6 kids fail but the other 24 kids are passing with A's, B's, and C's

    Besides, it's not like they get fired. If they happen to roll a craps and get six slackers in one class, it's unlikely to happen again next year so it'll probably be a temporary issue at most.


    So we're going to punish teachers because of a statistical inevitability? Ridiculous. What happens when an educator wants to leave their current job and go somewhere else, and its seen that they were 'reprimanded' for failing >20% of a given class once? That's not exactly something people will ignore.

    Once in 10 years isn't unheard of. Hell, once in 4 years isn't unheard of. (to have that 20% happen)

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    PicardathonPicardathon Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    When your dropout rate Is greater than 50% there is some problem. I'm glad that they're doing something, but 50% is not normal, and setting the bar at 20% of students failing max seems nigh impossible. Still, I'm glad that they're doing something, because a 50% dropout rate is terrible.

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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Elki wrote: »
    I wish I had the option to have homework not count.

    I never did homework in highschool. Only like, papers, never the busy work. It was never engaging. Went to summer school twice. I do much better in college though. Homework in highschool is bullshit waste of time. Unless they fix it I would prefer it didn't count.

    I think we need more teachers and smaller classrooms so that students can be more engaged.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Elki wrote: »
    I wish I had the option to have homework not count.

    I wish schools would focus more on classwork and not 5+ hours of homework a night. Reserve a half hour of the class period (we had block-schedule so it alternated days of classes, with 2-3 hour class a day) just for "coursework". Homework is a retarded idea, and is usually a "Fuck let's get this done as fast as I can so I can go fucking play a game or go outside."

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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Kids in 2nd grade get grades now? We didn't even have actual grades until 5th!

    Also, 20% failing? That is ridiculous - if that many kids in a single class are failing you're looking at a teacher who doesn't know what the fuck they're doing, or a class with a ton of deadbeats. Shit, in high school you have to try to fail by doing absolutely nothing. If one out of every five kids in your high school is failing, then you have a problem.

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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2008
    glithert wrote: »
    Well...Speaking from my own experience, had I gone to a school with policies like that, I would be the most insufferable, lazy, self-entitled dickhole in existence.
    I can't see how any of this is a good idea.

    At age 8? Precocious bugger you are, I didn't get a sense of entitlement like that until I was at least 15.

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    AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I can understand homework that involves writing to be taken in by the teacher and graded, but I don't think math or science problems should be. In high school and obviously university, we were gives a pile of problems for homework, but it was a matter of doing as much work as you needed to in order to grasp the concept. If after 10 questions I grasp how to find a derivative or balance a redox reaction why should I do the other 40?

    That said, you're responsible for understanding your own limitations and if after 50 questions you still aren't getting it, you should speak to the teacher.

    It seems contradictory to say that students shouldn't be accountable for their tests and homework, but that if they fail then there is something wrong with the teacher.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Again, I would like to know the political history of this school. I have a feeling this failure rate is a result of a "push the kids and they'll succeed" get tough on the district policy for which they a they are now overcompensating.

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    MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I think a lot of people here are reacting out of experience with much nicer schools and much more well-educated parent population.

    If 20% of the kids in a fifth grade class are failing in upstate NY, some weird shit is going down. If 20% of the kids in a fifth grade class in LA are failing, no one notices. (and probably a fair few can't read) That's what this strategy is aimed at is the severely under performing schools.

    However, I still think it's retarded. I'm all for reforming the way school is taught in public elementary, middle and high schools, but this isn't the way to do it.

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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    More bureaucracy =/= better education.

    I have a cousin who recently completed a teaching degree, and she told me all kinds of messed up stuff (some of it virtually identical to policies listed here) that is being done in schools nowadays. Usually I'm all about standardizing things, but I don't know if it really works for schooling, it seems like it often just ends up tying teachers hands, by forcing them what to teach, how to teach it, how to mark work and how to discipline kids. Its trying to turn teachers into robots and assuming that every kid is exactly the same.

    I'm not sure if I could subject a child of mine to the public school system. It was such bullshit when I went through it, and it doesn't seem like its getting any better. I dont like the idea of it, but private schools may be where its at.

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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I started to get a teaching degree and then stopped when I realized the system was completely FUBAR.

    I think that, as the OP insinuates, the only outcome of such rule changes will be to make a high school diploma even more worthless than it already is, and to encourage further deterioration of the work force in this country.

    Additionally, I think it fosters the mentality of "ignorance is okay" by essentially rewarding dumb/lazy kids with unearned grades.

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    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I think the teachers are the ones who should be setting the school policies.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Quoth wrote: »
    I started to get a teaching degree and then stopped when I realized the system was completely FUBAR.

    I think that, as the OP insinuates, the only outcome of such rule changes will be to make a high school diploma even more worthless than it already is, and to encourage further deterioration of the work force in this country.

    Additionally, I think it fosters the mentality of "ignorance is okay" by essentially rewarding dumb/lazy kids with unearned grades.

    Impossible. If all you have separating you from the dregs of society is a high school diploma, you're already fucked.

    Besides, what are high school grades indicative of anyway? The ability to do homework on demand? Seems like that's all they meant at my school...they certainly didn't imply any sort of knowledge, that's for sure (and bad grades didn't imply the opposite). At which point I'm not sure how much I think that "filling out worksheets" and "doing the questions at the back of the chapter" and maybe a little "cram the answers before the test and forget them three minutes after" qualify as "earning" grades.

    I think high school fails the kids that are bright but unmotivated to do busywork filling out information they already know just as much as it fails the burnouts, and maybe at least some of these policies will help to address that problem. Kids like me, who managed to fail out of high school despite being pretty damn smart. And considering I'm pulling decent grades in Electrical Engineering, I'd not suggest that I was fundamentally "lazy" either. It's just that high school, at least the way mine was structured, was a waste of my fucking time. It was designed to allow D-students to get C's and B-students to get A's through good grades on mindless busywork (homework was often upward of 50%+ of your grade) while swiftly burning out somebody who wasn't intellectually stimulated by regurgitating shit they already knew to begin with...sure, work is important and all, but in the real world you get paid to do shit that tedious.

    And yeah, sure, there's the mythical "better job waiting for you if you do well now" reward, but that's not necessarily tangible enough to motivate some kids (like myself) to essentially waste huge amounts of their time. Especially when I'm working a job in addition to school so I can afford new shoes every now and then because my family was poor as fuck.

    /rant

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    stratslingerstratslinger Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    While in college, a head professor taught us that it was expected to have students grade follow the normal bell curve, meaning most students will get C's, some will get D's&B's and very few will get A's and F's. He led a department, and said that if he wanted to review a teacher, he could apply this to them, and should expect (I forget exact numbers so please forgive my math, as well it was a bad college what can I say) that the class is hard enough that 2 people should fail and 2 people should have an A out of 30 people, with most students in C range, and a few in D-B range. And if on average x amount of people were not failing, he would dicipline the teacher for the class being to easy. He was also kind of crazy.

    I had a similar experience - taking a core business law class, the section I was enrolled in had an average grade of something like 89%. The professor was amazing, and really taught the course well and knew how to get us all excited about torts and contract law (as a techie, it still amazes me how much I was into that course!). Across all sections, the average grade was like 79%. My professor was forced to curve each section he taught (roughly 60-80 students, IIRC) down to match all the other sections. My 92% average wound up earning me a C+. Words cannot describe how pissed off I was about that...

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Besides, what are high school grades indicative of anyway? The ability to do homework on demand? Seems like that's all they meant at my school...they certainly didn't imply any sort of knowledge, that's for sure (and bad grades didn't imply the opposite). At which point I'm not sure how much I think that "filling out worksheets" and "doing the questions at the back of the chapter" and maybe a little "cram the answers before the test and forget them three minutes after" qualify as "earning" grades

    <3

    The stated motivation behind these new policies is to make grades more representative of how much the student knows as less representative of their ability to grind through homework.

    I see the policies as being relatively conducive to that.

    Feral on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Besides, what are high school grades indicative of anyway? The ability to do homework on demand? Seems like that's all they meant at my school...they certainly didn't imply any sort of knowledge, that's for sure (and bad grades didn't imply the opposite). At which point I'm not sure how much I think that "filling out worksheets" and "doing the questions at the back of the chapter" and maybe a little "cram the answers before the test and forget them three minutes after" qualify as "earning" grades

    <3

    The stated motivation behind these new policies is to make grades more representative of how much the student knows as less representative of their ability to grind through homework.

    I see the policies as being relatively conducive to that.

    Exactly. The test retake policy? Perfect for kids who have test anxiety (not an insignificant issue...my wife has it horribly). And it's probably a better solution than "make busywork enough of the grade that the kids can pass anyway," which only punishes the kids who already know the shit. Either by wasting their time or dinging their grade when they pass on doing that bullshit work. Again, you want me to do tedious shit that I'm not learning from? Fucking pay me.

    The fact that I only ever scored below about an 85% on a test, ever, in one class out of my entire high school career while doing literally no homework shows just how pointless that homework was for me. Of course, I was punished for this insolence in the form of a 1.0 GPA and no diploma, despite being both more intelligent and more knowledgeable than 95% of my peers.

    And before anybody mentions it, I looked at AP courses and shit. About 75%-100% more work, to maybe learn 10% more shit. Those teachers turned busywork into an art form. Plus having to spend my time around a bunch of pretentious asshats talking about what fancy private schools they're going to apply to (yay for being being in the bottom 10% in household income in a school where almost everybody was top 15%)? Fuck that noise.

    Again, this is high school not a law degree. There should be no "weed-out" courses. This is the basic minimum level of knowledge we're expecting every citizen to have, so every attempt should be made to ensure that every last student passes.

    Yeah, I guess it sucks that a high school diploma isn't your ticket to a kickin' blue-collar job anymore. Oh fucking well, welcome to the 21st century and specialization of the workforce. A two-year degree isn't that expensive, nor that difficult, and will handily separate you from all those mouth-breathers that managed to skate through high school.


    Oh, and I was one of those 9th grade failures, too. I think I failed half my classes the first semester of my freshman year. So I was largely doomed not to graduate right from the start. I don't know why I didn't bother dropping out...I guess I had friends there, and high school was just kind of "what you did." I certainly wasn't there for the learnin'. Got my diploma from a charter school after what would have been graduation (did almost a year's worth of credits in three weeks there), and went in the Army.

    mcdermott on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Speaker wrote: »
    I think the teachers are the ones who should be setting the school policies.
    According to my boss, teachers are Liberals and they sometimes get tenure and/or have a teacher's union to bat for them so they are lazy.

    Libruhls

    Malkor on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Sorry for the rants, guys. Just a sore point for me. I think our high schools fail some of our brightest kids just as badly as they fail a lot of economically disadvantaged kids and a lot of generally disinterested kids. Basically our schools absolutely excel at shuffling middle-class kids of average intelligence through four years of busywork then sending them off to college to actually learn something.

    While I'm not sure the policies in the OP are necessarily the right answer for this problem, more power to them for admitting they have a serious problem and trying something to combat it.

    mcdermott on
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    AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    While in college, a head professor taught us that it was expected to have students grade follow the normal bell curve, meaning most students will get C's, some will get D's&B's and very few will get A's and F's. He led a department, and said that if he wanted to review a teacher, he could apply this to them, and should expect (I forget exact numbers so please forgive my math, as well it was a bad college what can I say) that the class is hard enough that 2 people should fail and 2 people should have an A out of 30 people, with most students in C range, and a few in D-B range. And if on average x amount of people were not failing, he would dicipline the teacher for the class being to easy. He was also kind of crazy.

    I had a similar experience - taking a core business law class, the section I was enrolled in had an average grade of something like 89%. The professor was amazing, and really taught the course well and knew how to get us all excited about torts and contract law (as a techie, it still amazes me how much I was into that course!). Across all sections, the average grade was like 79%. My professor was forced to curve each section he taught (roughly 60-80 students, IIRC) down to match all the other sections. My 92% average wound up earning me a C+. Words cannot describe how pissed off I was about that...

    I'm so glad that in Canada (or at least every high school and university I've heard about in Canada) curving marks is just not done. It's an absolutely ridiculous concept, especially when scholarships rely on letter grades rather than percentages. You should be graded according to your own ability to do the work and the knowledge that you demonstrate during the tests, not based on how well you did compared to everyone else. There were quite a few engineering classes in university where the majority of the class failed and when they complained the prof just said that this is important stuff. If you go out into the real world, try to apply this and get it wrong...people die.

    and with regards to anyone complaining about how they are so much smarter than their classmates and how they shouldn't have to do "busywork" when it's required, specifically mcdermott, please stop. Some people act like this is something to be proud of, when it really isn't. A lot of people were smart in school and didn't need to do the homework because they understood the concepts, but they did it anyway because it's required. You aren't some sort of tragic hero for failing because you couldn't be bothered to do the work. It's disrespectful to authority and really isn't something we should be rewarding, which these policies are doing.

    Asiina on
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