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Old 04-14-2023, 09:34 AM
 
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So if they policy doesn't really work, and doesn't really make sense, who is pushing it in schools and why?
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Old 04-14-2023, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Canada
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This is utter nonsense. Kids have to learn consequences. That's the problem these days... there are NONE.
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Old 04-14-2023, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
I am not a fan of the "50% floor" grading policy, although I understand the logic behind it. However, one teacher can't go rogue on site-wide or district-wide grading policies. Grades need to be consistent from class to class to be meaningful.
Exactly! That's a point I keep making, but nobody on this forum ever agrees with me.

Quote:
If she was disregarding this policy, I wonder if she was also disregarding other policies.

It's one thing to use "personal discretion" and go off piste when health and safety are at risk, or even matters of serious ethics. But this wasn't that.
Yes, and sometimes, people have to follow rules that they don't agree with.

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Yeah, it's an inherent weakness of the A-F percentage grading where anything below 60% is failing. I think it'd make more sense, both mathematically and for meaningful grading, to use the four point scale like GPA for course grades and for assignments.
Yes, and rightly or wrongly, a 50 point minimum has a similar effect.
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Old 04-14-2023, 10:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Gee, sorry, I thought you were responding to my post.

You can't have 80 different teachers in a school each operating by their own set of rules. That doesn't work.
Exactly! And I feel it's more important for a policy to be consistent than to be "fair".

Quote:
I don't like the 50% policy, either. Although, I don't think it's such a big deal as some here do. I once taught in a school that moved to that policy, and guess what -- the same kids pretty much ended up with the same report card grade as under the 0% policy. It had no effect on the A, B, and C students, almost no effect on the D students, and a marginal effect on the F students.
If anything, I would think that this policy would most benefit the A student who has all A's and a 0 because he/she was 20 seconds late to class the day an assignment was due, or who missed an exam or handed an assignment late because he/she was attending a funeral or was hospitalized. That is where the 0 would have the most negative impact. A 50 would still suck, but not as much. But for an F student, a 0 or a 50 is still an F either way, so it hardly matters.
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Old 04-14-2023, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
In my local district we've had some teachers quit because they hated the 50% for nothing policy that got implemented when Covid hit.
It must be nice to be rich enough that you can just walk away from a job because of a policy that you don't like. Every job has policies that employees may not like, but most of us just have to deal with them, since we need the job, and, if nothing else, we need the health insurance.
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Old 04-14-2023, 10:07 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post
So if they policy doesn't really work, and doesn't really make sense, who is pushing it in schools and why?
University based theorists, educational think tanks and Equity Warriors.
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Old 04-14-2023, 10:08 AM
 
Location: NMB, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
So if they policy doesn't really work, and doesn't really make sense, who is pushing it in schools and why?
It's been determined that retention doesn't work and it affects minorities in greater amounts and that's discrimination. This comes from research studies.

Oregon completely eliminated proficiency requirements for graduation from HS for the next 3 years.

You see failing is no longer an option.
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Old 04-14-2023, 10:33 AM
 
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As noted earlier, kids are resourceful.

They figure out if they do NO work, and turn in NO homework and get a 50. Then they figure out what they have to get on each test in order to get a passing Average.

And plenty of kids do this.

In my experience, this is known as a wise a$$ and eventually life catches up with them. Not everyone does, or has to, put up with this crap.

So, at some point, be it college entrance, or scholarships, or the military, or an employer who puts up with no gruff, these punks get slapped really hard with something called life.

It's fun to watch some pencil neck tell a do-nothing kid that they just "failed" at life. It has real consequences. Maybe the first time that many of these kids run into reality.

As an aside, my district (and the State too, i think), just started a "you can't leave third grade unless you possess certain reading and math skills. Something like 30-40% of the kids in my district won't get shoved on to fourth grade and the school is in a real panic. Life has caught up with these kids early. They'll probably be better for it.
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Old 04-14-2023, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
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I'm sort of laughing over the angst this is causing some people.

I'm against the policy, but what is it really getting the few students who are "gaming the system". A grade of D. Big whop. That's really gonna take them far...not.
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Old 04-14-2023, 11:41 AM
 
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Another reason why schools have adopted this policy is that they are dinged for graduation rate, which is negatively affected by students failing classes.

I got a completely different perspective on school policy in England based on my conversations with my English cousins over the years. I don't know how accurate they are, as my cousins were not, as they say, a "brainy lot."

Apparently they grouped their students by performance, and if you ended up in the lowest group, then you just got passed along until school-leaving age, which at the time was 16. For my mother it was 15 and her two elder brothers left at 14 and went straight onto the transatlantic liners as cabin boys. There was no being held back, if you didn't pass enough of your exams, you couldn't go on to college, which was preparation for a career or university, not "college = university" as in the U. S. As I said, they weren't a brainy lot, so no one went to uni until my children's generation.

I think part of the focus historically was getting the working classes (my family) ready for work and sifting through to find any diamonds in the rough who would benefit from a more strident school experience. In any case, not having to pay for repeated years of schooling was definitely part of the plan.

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One of the issues in the U. S. is that grades are relatively meaningless until students begin earning Carnegie units for graduation. When a student falls seriously behind on the graduation track, our system mandates a horde of interventionists to get the kid across the stage with a diploma so that the school and district won't get dinged on accountability ratings. When you see young people spend literally years on school rosters and end up with a handful of credits, it becomes an exercise in futility. I've known more than one 21-year-old 9th-grader who only came to school for the food and customers until they were found out and sent off to live as adults.

Perhaps if we in the U. S. might consider making a switch in our program that would make secondary education dependent upon progress. In France, for example, there is a series of exams used to determine secondary and tertiary education. Parents sometimes make the decision with the schools to have students repeat a year in order to improve their performance on the exams. But the onus is on the students to pass them if they want to have choices for their education.

I used to tell the students who were not making progress toward graduation to quit playing school and go ahead and drop out and work two minimum-wage jobs just to keep a roof over their heads. "Quit playing school with schoolchildren and go out and be grown with grown-ups" were my exact words. When they would ask me if I wanted them to drop out, I would answer, "No I want you to learn French, pass the class, earn the credit, graduate, go to college and have a great life, but you're not doing what you need to do to learn French and MASTER THE OBJECTIVES! So quit wasting your time, my time, and the taxpayers' money (and repeat the above)." (For context, keep in mind that I was at an inner-city school where I had taught many of my students' parents and in which I had solid community ties.)

At the beginning of the 4th term, I would begin by giving the students mini-lesson in algebra to get the formula for the lowest grade you could make and still pass for the year. Here it is:

To get a passing grade for the course, with no final exam grade, use this formula: T4 = (119 –S1)(2/.9) – T3
where S1 is the Semester 1 grade and T3 is the Term 3 grade. Some students were delighted to get a negative number, which meant there was no way they could fail. Some were confused for a sec when they needed a grade over 100, which meant that there was no numerical way to pass. (Plan A for passing was earn a passing grade. Plan B was Learn French.). Most students had a clear target of what they had to do 4th term to pass for the year. Of course, French, like math, is cumulative, so students had very little chance to learn 36 weeks of French in 8 weeks. But where there is life, there is hope.

For years before the pandemic, I relied on time and consequences to sink in for a long time for seniors who needed the class for graduation. I would have a steady stream of seniors come in who had put their lives in my hands because they didn't take care of business. For many of them, I would hold up my hand and point out the metaphorical bite marks matching their teeth on the hand that had spent all year trying to feed them. Tears would well up in their eyes as I would point out that I never asked to have their life in my hands and now it was time for me to decide to temper justice with mercy. It was a crucial point in their education that they needed before going off to adultland. Most would go away with hope and a clear idea of how to learn enough French to earn a passing grade. Most promised me that when they would have someone else's life in their hands to remember that moment, and temper justice with mercy. But a few, a very small few, had to live with harsh justice because there was nothing that they could do but go back in time to August and start over or rub their lamp and hope that their genie would grant it as one of their three wishes. It was hard, but it made a meaningful difference in the lives of many, many young adults. Take care of business and don't bite the hand that feeds you. Keep your ship afloat or you will go down with your ship.


In any case, the policy of allowing students to pass a class by earning a passing grade for one term of four is misguided and we see the unintended consequences in the inability of many young adults to meet the basic standards at work or in higher education.
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