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Old 01-20-2024, 11:00 PM
 
12,578 posts, read 8,809,297 times
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Just to answer a couple of questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
The one you left out was, a student gets an A on every assignment, an A on every exam, but the teacher gives a lower grade (usually a C+, C, or C-) in order to teach some sort of life lesson, or “because they can”.
I never saw that one in college, just in high school. In those cases it seemed more like "because they can" than any life lesson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post

One other thing I want to point out is that a common theme on this forum is where I or another poster is told by an administrator that a particular teacher has tenure and there is nothing they can do about a rule violation or abuse of power, but others on this forum insisting that tenure does not protect against that. Keep in mind that different schools likely have different policies, and those policies likely change over time. Also, even if tenure does not literally protect a teacher in a certain case, it’s a good way to get a student or parent to shut up. If you are led to believe that there isn’t anything you can do, you may be more likely to just accept the grade and/or find a way to jump through the hoop being asked. You know at that point that fighting it won’t be easy, that you may not prevail, and that you will likely make enemies along the way. May be better to just suck it up and accept the grade, and/or jump through the hoop. And, if it happens in college, remember it when they come asking for money.
In most cases that's simply the best answer. The process takes so long that even if you win, it's basically irrelevant to you. You're only there four years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
Did the professor refuse to explain what his/her preferred methodology is? Or, was it just so different from what you were taught years earlier (like my 8th grade math teacher) that it was nearly impossible to unlearn everything that you were taught? Especially since what my 8th grade teacher taught was a step down from what we learned in 7th grade (from a high school teacher who walked over to teach that class).
What I eventually learned a couple years later when I was helping a friend with homework is that I had used the method from physics class and the chemistry department didn't want its students using that method until they took senior chemistry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
Did the syllabus state what you needed to learn for the exam, even if it was not taught in class? I found most teachers / professors would have exams focus on what was taught in class, even if we were technically responsible for more material.
In that example I was trying to use a little levity to illustrate a common problem in STEM courses where the professor puts stuff from outside the scope of the class on the exam. A specific example was the professor who put problems from Hamilton-Jacobi theory, where not only had we not studied that concept, we hadn't even had the math classes required to work in it. He was about two years too soon.
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Old 01-21-2024, 11:37 AM
 
Location: WA
5,286 posts, read 7,577,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
This incident was before I was in college, so I do not have the answer to either question. And keep in mind that it was the former adjunct professor himself who bragged about giving no grades above a C-, so it’s not just bitter students making it up. Keep in mind that the vast majority of D = Diploma students would be completely happy with a C- and would not likely complain. Even if a student had a scholarship, this particular class was late enough in their college career that the one grade would not significantly impact their GPA.



As I’ve said before, teachers were explicitly allowed to use teacher grade overrides. They were not breaking any rules, so a students would have no grounds to appeal such a grade. There were 2 types of teacher grade overrides. The only type I ever saw used was where a teacher could give a quarter grade other than what was earned. Such as when my AP Chemistry teacher gave me a C+ for the 2nd quarter even though I had an A on every exam and an A on every assignment. When I asked him why I got the C+, his answer was “because I don’t like you”. Keep in mind that this was in 12th grade, and our GPA and rank in class were calculated at the end of 11th grade. So our grades in 12th grade really didn’t matter. The grades for the first 2 quarters were sent to colleges. I was told (whether accurately or not) that the colleges were only looking to make sure we didn’t fail any classes. For an AP class in 12th grade, what really mattered was the AP exam score, which the teacher had no role in grading. I got a 5 on that AP exam, by the way.

The other type of teacher grade override, which I never saw used, was overriding the final grade, to be something other than the average of the quarter grades and final exam grade. I never heard of any teachers using that option, and it likely would have been more controversial.

Keep in mind I was in high school from 1993 to 1997, so these policies very likely have changed since then.

I am not aware of any students whose grades were overridden with a lower grade in grades 9, 10, or 11, the only ones that factored into our GPA and rank in class. That would have likely been much more controversial. Whereas, in 12th grade, it’s one of those things where better to accept an unfair grade than to make an enemy. Keep in mind that if I were to have escalated the issue, he could have overrides my grade with an F, which would have voided any college acceptances. Although I would strongly suspect that overriding a passing grade with an F would be seen as an abuse of power, and likely would have not been allowed even if it was within the letter of the law.

One other thing I want to point out is that a common theme on this forum is where I or another poster is told by an administrator that a particular teacher has tenure and there is nothing they can do about a rule violation or abuse of power, but others on this forum insisting that tenure does not protect against that. Keep in mind that different schools likely have different policies, and those policies likely change over time. Also, even if tenure does not literally protect a teacher in a certain case, it’s a good way to get a student or parent to shut up. If you are led to believe that there isn’t anything you can do, you may be more likely to just accept the grade and/or find a way to jump through the hoop being asked. You know at that point that fighting it won’t be easy, that you may not prevail, and that you will likely make enemies along the way. May be better to just suck it up and accept the grade, and/or jump through the hoop. And, if it happens in college, remember it when they come asking for money.
Wow, mitsguy:

You were either one of the most unlikable students in history or you had a statistically freakish run of very bad and unethical teachers and professors. Because I would suggest that the vast majority of the millions of HS and college students who pass through schools and universities every year never experience anything like what you describe at all. Perfect straight-A students being downgraded to a C on a "teacher override whim" because they don't like you? and so forth.

If anything the opposite is true today. Far too many students get padded grades that they don't really deserve due to grade inflation.
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Old 01-21-2024, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Arizona
2,548 posts, read 2,191,634 times
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Sounds like the plot to an "Animal House" ripoff movie.
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Old 01-22-2024, 11:30 AM
 
10,312 posts, read 5,494,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
You're assuming the professor actually wants to clarify.
I have no idea if the professor wants to or not. But I've never had a professor refuse to clarify, when the information is not available elsewhere.

Quote:
Not a surprise, but a hidden variable. Since the amount of work required changed on a whim.
If the work is supported, it is supported. Quantity isn't an issue. That one goes from line 3 to line 4 with nothing but magic is the issue.

Quote:
When the only grades you get are midterm and final, each question is pretty much worth at least a letter grade. In this case, the question was on the midterm, worth 40 points out of a hundred. There is no making a change because there is no second chance on that type problem.
If you want to claim that there were no clues contained in the professors lectures up to the midterm, OK. I guess that was challenging for you. . .

Quote:
Nothing over the top. I suspect most engineering grads can relate. Pretty much routine in a lot of physics and engineering programs. As I thought was pretty clear in my example the issue is exams on material outside the scope of the course. Happened more often than not.
The over the top hyperbole was you claiming that you covered 30 chapters in an engineering course. . .
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Old 01-22-2024, 04:18 PM
 
12,578 posts, read 8,809,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaxPhd View Post
I have no idea if the professor wants to or not. But I've never had a professor refuse to clarify, when the information is not available elsewhere.

If the work is supported, it is supported. Quantity isn't an issue. That one goes from line 3 to line 4 with nothing but magic is the issue.

If you want to claim that there were no clues contained in the professors lectures up to the midterm, OK. I guess that was challenging for you. . .

The over the top hyperbole was you claiming that you covered 30 chapters in an engineering course. . .
I never claimed that we did cover 30 chapters. I claimed that we didn't but were tested on material not covered in the course.

Going from line 3 to line 4 with nothing but magic? Perhaps you meant from line 3 to line 14, as a joke.

Clues from the professor? In that specific class, I went to him in office hours on how to work that specific type problem. His office hours looked like that scene from Indiana Jones with everyone crowded into his office begging for help, but without the secretary. My conversation with him, in between the other 20 conversations in the room, when something like this: (sounds like an Abbot and Costello conversation)

Prof: Go to the board and work the problem.
me: That's why I'm here for help; I don't know how to work the problem. (scribbling on the board)
Prof: Use the process to work it.
me: I don't know what process to use? How do I determine the process? (I keep scribbling on the board)
Prof: You determine the process by picking the right one to use.
me: How do I pick the right one to use?
me: Professor?
me: Professor?
(by now he's wondered off with one of his grad students and I'm standing there in a crowd of bewildered freshman, all arguing with each other on how to work various problems. At that point I left for my next class having gotten no help.)

I realize you don't believe these things I'm saying because it's obvious you never had a professor do some of the things we describe. Most of these things are pretty common in STEM programs. That's why there are so many memes about these things out there. Not because they are imaginary, nor because they are so rare, but because they are so common that we all in STEM fields can relate to them. In much the same way that so many professionals relate to Dilbert because that comic describes the reality of professional engineering work more closely than formal publications do.
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Old 02-22-2024, 11:41 AM
 
19,471 posts, read 17,695,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
It is a funny flow chart and hits some stereotypes but having taught HS in Texas for a decade and having my oldest daughter graduate HS in Texas and go on to college, it isn't particularly accurate.

We lived in Waco and Baylor was where rich conservative folks from the metroplex sent their daughters if they couldn't get them into Vanderbilt or Duke.

But Texas is a perfect example of what I'm talking about with respect to merit scholarships.

First of all, all the big private schools in Texas combined (Baylor, Rice, TCU, SMU) don't add up to even one public school in terms of Texas students. I very seriously doubt that their combined enrollment of Texans adds up any random state school like Texas State or North Texas. They all recruit nationally and have a minority of Texans on all their student bodies, generally between 30% and 40% so not that many Texans actually go to those four schools. And any Texan considering private schools is very likely to look beyond the borders of Texas.

What REALLY happens in Texas is that most middle class students try to get into UT or TAMU depending on their interests and if they don't get into either one they have to decide if they are going to stay in-state which means:

Tech, TSU, UTD, UNT and maybe Houston in the first tier and then all the rest in the second tier (UTSA, UTEP, and all the smaller regional schools)

But wait, there is a surplus of upper middle class Texans who aren't going to get into UT or TAMU and aren't thrilled with the other options and want to go to a more traditional residential college not some big commuter school like UTSA or UTA. So they look to neighboring states and guess what:

Arkansas, Colorado State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, New Mexico State, LSU, and others all offer pretty generous merit scholarships for out-of-state Texan students. My own daughter landed one at Arkansas where she attended. For good students who are somewhat below the top 8% or so to gain admittance to UT or TAMU these merit scholarships generally cut the gap in half between in-state and out-of-state tuition and make all those schools into viable choices. My daughter's freshman dorm at Arkansas had 4 other freshman girls from her high school. Not four other Texans, but four girls from her actual high school. There might actually be more Texans than Arkansans at Arkansas, or close to it. Every one of them paying more in tuition than the wealthiest in-state Arkansan.

Why do those out-of-state universities do that? Do you think they care in the slightest about upper middle class Texans from Dallas or Houston? No, they absolutely do not. They do it because out-of-state Texans are a cash cow that keeps those schools in business because they come in and pay FULL tuition plus a reduced out-of-state premium so every out-of-state Texan kid brings in $10-$20 grand or more in extra money compared to a local kid. Same exact thing happens here in the Pacific Northwest with Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, etc. offering big merit scholarships to attract rich Californian kids who are their cash cow. UW-Seattle doesn't bother because they are selective enough to not need to.

Don't confuse the decision-making process for a college student seeking the best deal (which might well include merit scholarships). With the decision-making process of colleges that offer them. That is all I am saying. They exist as a marketing tool for the college, not because they are interested in rewarding/recognizing something called "merit" in incoming freshmen. Treat them as a pricing mechanism and a way for colleges to offer a "sale price" on college education. Nothing more.

Just some follow on points as I missed this post earlier.

A similar dynamic applies to CA, several other states too. Many top 10-12%ish CA HS grads are squeezed out of The UC system schools for reasons very similar to TX kids being squeezed out of the TAMU - UT dance. Also some kids really do just want to get away. Regardless most years CA, TX and NJ (proportionally NJ leads by far or at least did last time I read the data) lead the country in kids leaving the state for college.

As an anecdote three of my daughter's best friends at Texas A&M were ex-of CA.


__________


My kids are way past UG studies now so I've paid less attention the last several years. However, there exists a very real dynamic per the southern states that has been in play for many years. TX has long been an over producer of top rising college talent (NMSF cutoff scores act as an indicator). Most years all surrounding states + Kansas, MS and Alabama underproduce.

Alabama for years offered a merit based scholarship based very heavily based on ACT scores. Alabama also for years bought billboard AD space not 300 yards from Dallas Jesuit College Prep. but also between several other outstanding Dallas private schools (JCP, Hockaday, Ursuline, Saint Marks, ESD and not too far from Greenhill and Parish). Alabama's logic was sound IMO. I have been told Alabama did the same in Houston.

Recentering the point quite obviously Alabama admissions types figured out that A. graduates from these schools were exceptionally qualified per rising college freshman nationally. B. some pretty fair number would be squeezed between UT and A&M's auto-admit rules and each school's exceptional competitive admit programs. For further emphasis across some years a boy graduating Saint Marks will both finish at or outside the top 25% class rank and also be a NMSF (for '23 SM produced 24 NMSFs with class of 96 - I think). And it worked as a number of my daughter's friend and acquaintances from these schools did win scholarships or otherwise go to Alabama. I can't remember her area of study but one of DD's friend was rejected by UT and TAMU out of hand but earned one of the ACT scholarships to Alabama.


_________________


We've got to a little careful about all of this. Take Baylor...Baylor per se isn't not a top school across the board. It does, however, sport several exceptional programs - BS-Bio for pre-med etc. Same with the other privates. Baylor's UG student body is 60% Texan FWIIW.
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