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Old 11-01-2013, 09:33 AM
 
9,198 posts, read 21,230,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redandorangeskittles View Post
I think you mean "weighted".
D'Oh! Thanks for the correction.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: NC
6,427 posts, read 4,511,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscomac View Post
It's not inflating the grades. It's shortening the scale so that it's a more accurate measure of what has been done and what has been learned. Statistically, the 100-point scale is a mess. The ratios are off. Every grade A - D has a range of 7 - 10 points (depending on where you are), but F has a range of about 70 points. A bottom score of 50 just makes the ranges mathematically sensible and much more accurate when averaging grades.
OK, let me jump back in, but this time, I need to add a little bit of background. My career is based on adult education and professional development. That is to say, I sell training for technical professionals in today's profit driven world. In addition to training, I also work with credentialing, including certification, certificates (two different things, BTW), and other professional recognitions. I work with economic development arms, as well as with community colleges and universities, but ALL of it it is to support the needs of industry (and by industry, I mean the people who hire people). My customers are multinational giants, mid-size, and local entities. They are the people that hire, and they specifically come to us to help them get trained people, or to train the people they have.

In many of our courses, credit is not given unless a score of 80% is achieved. Imagine, you have a person operating the Safety Systems in a Nuclear plant. In an oil pipeline, in a refinery, or in a steel mill that has furnaces running hot enough to create molten steel. Now, are you worried about if their passing grade is skewed toward the upper end? The point here is that 70% (or in this case, 80%) is the baseline. It's the minimum to show enough competency to move on. In real life, I gave some examples, but let's apply that to "school".

So even with grades.... If someone can't master 70% of basic math skills, you are really not doing them a favor by promoting them to algebra. You are not setting them up for success.

In my opinion, the only way to make a four-pint scale work, is to ONLY test on the more complex problems. That means that you test on mastery, which in turn adds a lot of pressure to the testing process. (BTW, one of the biggest contributors to failure in any level of education and testing is test anxiety. This would add to that problem.)

For what it's worth, I'm mostly a tree-hugging liberal, and I totally believe in being kind to my neighbor, and all that other fuzzy stuff, but I do believe that we've become society of entitlement. I've travelled around the world and seen other cultures who are a lot more "hungry" than we are here (and some who are less). We need to reinforce at an early age that you earn your success, and are not entitled to it. No matter how much that might sting, the fact is that some kid from Pakistan, or India, or Sanford is going to bust his or her arse to get that job, that sale, or that position at university. The only way you are going to get it away from them is to compete on the level playing field that is "the real world" (which I admit is not always level). The consequences of learning a hard lesson in gradeschool are much easier overcome than they are in college, or after. If you learn them early, you have time to overcome, and redirect.

OK, that was kinda preachy. Sorry about that. I think the discussion is a good one.


I'll also say that "school is to learn" and "how we calculate grades" has little correlation in today's "no kid left behind" (or no kid gets ahead) world.....

Whew, I feel better now.


EDIT: Yes, Sanford is a third world County. LOL....
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,969 posts, read 2,980,922 times
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I'm surprised that nobody else has brought this up yet, but has anyone considered that the real meaning behind this is to make it easier for them to boost their final numbers in order to earn financial benefits for the school?
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: My House
33,273 posts, read 27,070,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theS5 View Post
C'mon Meh!! Maybe just a touch of hyperbole there.

My kids don't get zeros and we don't do their work for them.

Sounds like you are either pining for intelligent, lazy kids or kids that think they are too smart to put forth the effort. Either way, give me the kid who gives it their all over the kid who thinks they are smarter than they actually are.
Which is why I said "most"... not "all."

I had a few who were just very concerned with turning in work and avoiding zeros.

What are you talking about?? I am not pining for anyone. I just want to make sure that all kids are actually LEARNING the material. That's more important than an assigned grade, but we do need grades to put on a report card, because that's how the school system works.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: My House
33,273 posts, read 27,070,494 times
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Originally Posted by theS5 View Post
Is artificially inflating this kids grade going to help them in the long run?

Look, I am fine with giving this kid the opportunity to elevate their grade to passing. Maybe an additional project, but not by the stroke of the pen.

Of course, the kid has to show the willingness and desire to pass the class. If the kid is bright, but just lazy, then a failing grade it is.
Why the focus on the grade and not on the opportunity for the teacher to intervene and help the kids, you know... learn.

I mean, that's what school is all about. Learning the material, not learning to just turn stuff in.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: My House
33,273 posts, read 27,070,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscomac View Post
It's not inflating the grades. It's shortening the scale so that it's a more accurate measure of what has been done and what has been learned. Statistically, the 100-point scale is a mess. The ratios are off. Every grade A - D has a range of 7 - 10 points (depending on where you are), but F has a range of about 70 points. A bottom score of 50 just makes the ranges mathematically sensible and much more accurate when averaging grades.
Yup. Exactly.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
8,269 posts, read 21,872,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscomac View Post
It's not inflating the grades. It's shortening the scale so that it's a more accurate measure of what has been done and what has been learned. Statistically, the 100-point scale is a mess. The ratios are off. Every grade A - D has a range of 7 - 10 points (depending on where you are), but F has a range of about 70 points. A bottom score of 50 just makes the ranges mathematically sensible and much more accurate when averaging grades.
Yep! this is exactly it!
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:51 AM
 
219 posts, read 412,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDUBiker View Post
CARY: Wake schools looking at banning 'zero' grades, allowing late work | Education | NewsObserver.com

To me, this is just another in the long line of what I like to call the "p***ification of America" where we can't let anyone's feelings get hurt and we have to bend and break all sorts of time-proven rules and methods so that people are given way too many chances to avoid failure.

I mean seriously...now we are considering that teachers can't give out zeroes for lazy or no effort and allowing people to turn things in late? What happened to parenting, teaching, and having rules and deadlines? It's a critical part of life to learn that things must be done with proper effort and on a certain schedule. That's how the real world works. What are we setting these kids up for if we allow this?
Couldn't agree more. Uggggggggghhhhh.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:53 AM
 
Location: My House
33,273 posts, read 27,070,494 times
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Something else that people aren't thinking of is that kids CAN get a zero (or a 10, or a 15, or a 20) on work they DID turn in but do not understand at all.

This type of grading scale shift would avoid that type of thing. I don't know why people are so quick to assume that every kid who ever got a zero got it because he/she is a slacker.

Sometimes kids shut down when an assignment is due that they don't understand and they just don't turn it in. It's not slackerism.... it's being timid or confused and not wanting to ask for help.

Insisting that we keep track of this and get these kids to do the work is going to eliminate a lot of that.


I didn't have a stellar GPA when I left high school. And yes... I was bored. And yeah... I got some zeroes. Still, I managed to get a reasonable GPA, I have one undergrad degree, a master's degree, and I'm working on a 2nd master's degree. And no... I never worked at 40k a year crappy desk job. These wages will depend on the field that someone chose. Regardless, I can tell you that I know people who turned in every assignment in HS and had great GPAs who don't make much money and who hated college enough to never want to go to grad school. Soo... I think all this fuss over making sure kids get penalized for not turning in an assignment has more to do with punishment than with learning. If that's how some of you want school to be, then I think you have a very different impression of what it means to EDUCATE people.

You can point to places like Japan and say the US is lagging behind them, but do we want Japan's suicide rate here for our young adults? I certainly don't think Japan is the bastion of perfection that people imagine it to be.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:04 AM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,202,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meh_whatever View Post
Why the focus on the grade and not on the opportunity for the teacher to intervene and help the kids, you know... learn.

I mean, that's what school is all about. Learning the material, not learning to just turn stuff in.

Until we change how our schools work, grades are the metric by which we evaluate how much a child has learned. Our public school systems are already burdened with overcrowding, political correctness and lack of funds. I don't believe that a teacher has the bandwidth to focus on poor Johnny, who is a bright boy, but just won't do his work, at the expense of the other 25 kids in the room.

Now, if you would like to open a private school where grading doesn't matter, submitting required projects doesn't matter, you are certainly entitled.
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