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Old 05-31-2011, 04:47 PM
 
316 posts, read 791,066 times
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On the nose. The 90 is not the issue but its effect lead a much wider issue. How does the grading work? If grades are weighted, we want to know. If there's a major assignment or test coming up, we want to know. If a class has few grading opportunities, we want to know. If our child muffed a grade, we want to know.

We don't want to make a big deal about this but we do want answers. "You get the score you get" (while bowling blind) is not a reasonable answer. The principal stopped responding after the "fine job" email. That was apparently a "case closed" email. I've had similar experiences with elected representatives, now that you mention it.

The sad part is that, grades aside, we really want to enhance our child's education. If we know about some topic in class, we work it. A few weeks ago, we went in search of the sketchiest pond water. And it was a hit in class.

However, it seems like we are being shut out of our child's education. Being involved has been redefined as running school events or donating.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:07 PM
 
28,900 posts, read 50,744,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusParent View Post
On the nose. The 90 is not the issue but its effect lead a much wider issue. How does the grading work? If grades are weighted, we want to know. If there's a major assignment or test coming up, we want to know. If a class has few grading opportunities, we want to know. If our child muffed a grade, we want to know.

We don't want to make a big deal about this but we do want answers. "You get the score you get" (while bowling blind) is not a reasonable answer. The principal stopped responding after the "fine job" email. That was apparently a "case closed" email. I've had similar experiences with elected representatives, now that you mention it.

The sad part is that, grades aside, we really want to enhance our child's education. If we know about some topic in class, we work it. A few weeks ago, we went in search of the sketchiest pond water. And it was a hit in class.

However, it seems like we are being shut out of our child's education. Being involved has been redefined as running school events or donating.
Yep. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,638 posts, read 5,791,212 times
Reputation: 2676
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Yep. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut.

Oops...you forgot the rest of the sentence..."because you are not a trained professional."

Not all parents are idiots, just as not all teachers are lazy and could give a crud about anything but tenure.

Still, the blame game continues - sadly I might add.

Be that as it may, despite my near bi-weekly contact emails, logging in for grades viewing, and periodic meetings where I stress emphatically, that I have an open door policy and no grand delusions as far as what's going on with my kids, I still just found out that my DS is effectively flunking a subject recently. I even went through his laptop and homework (what heads or tails I could make out of it because there is no book to go with it). In other words, it's a little too late to be notifying me now isn't it?

On our last meeting in February, I was showed his scores and apparently he had a good testing day. I was also told that he seemed to be 'getting it and doing well.' Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks ago, I hear that the teacher "has had to help him redo nearly all of his homework for a passing grade." Uh...excuse me?

Hang in there. You can be the most involved, well-read, and open-minded parent in the school and still get 'parenting' suggestions.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:46 PM
 
3,086 posts, read 7,173,238 times
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What is it exactly that you want to know? I'm confused. There are so many things you mentioned so it's hard to understand exactly what you want to accomplish.

If you feel the need to have knowledge in grading scales, actual grades and syllabus then ask at the beginning of the year or research the district's website and you might find much of that already there.

Our district has the general syllabus on their website and the teachers often send home a general outline for the year when school begins. Also the online grading system tells us that grading periods are comprised of 50% daily and 50% tests/projects and that semester grades are comprised of 3 grading periods counting 28.57% each with the final test counting 14.29%.

However, if you feel the need to know exactly what your child is learning, exactly where their grade average is at any given moment or exactly what you need to supplement, then you are probably not going to be content in a public school setting. That's simply too much to realistically expect of the teachers with the caseload of students they are teaching in most schools.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:17 PM
 
784 posts, read 2,629,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusParent View Post
I should have been more clear. (Excellent video, by the way.) This middle school has a policy of not sending graded assignments and tests home until the grading period is over. It is a major change for us because the elementary school sent everything home every Friday.

We still have good communication with our child. But we have to ask about class work for each class every week. The school doesn't have enough text books so we don't see any materials other than homework assignments. The school says that it wants parents to be its partners in education. There must be a better way for parents to be engaged in their children's education.

As far as GPAs go, how much control is realistically possible? Will there always be some random factor at the school administrative level? Is a report card surprise a likelihood? We're increasingly concerned as we approach high school because we are going to need a scholarship.
That is bad. How is the student supposed to learn from his/her mistakes on assignments in preparation for the tests? What did the school say about that?
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:51 PM
 
21,782 posts, read 17,823,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypocore View Post
However, if you feel the need to know exactly what your child is learning, exactly where their grade average is at any given moment or exactly what you need to supplement, then you are probably not going to be content in a public school setting. That's simply too much to realistically expect of the teachers with the caseload of students they are teaching in most schools.
This is what OP is stating;

Quote:
The school doesn't have enough text books so we don't see any materials other than homework assignments.
So regarding this next OP statement ( I quote)

"The school says that it wants parents to be its partners in education. There must be a better way for parents to be engaged in their children's education."

- that's precisely what I was talking about in this particular thread
//www.city-data.com/forum/educa...volvement.html
and I've been called a "control freak" for my ( quite reasonable IMO) suggestions.

Oh, and if your High School student "forget" some important things ( that ultimately affect the grade ( and GPA,)) - so be it.
Only children who "learned responsibility" deserve to succeed academically.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:50 PM
 
16,833 posts, read 16,180,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
What you have here is a school that is dodging accountability--the classic behavior of bureaucrats posing as educators. Only the village idiot would say that not sending work home for
Aside from the No True Scotsman issues here, there are very good reasons for not sending tests home. Cheating being the primary reason.

Kids, even middle school kids, have been known to keep tests and pass them on to younger friends and siblings. And with the push to test using CCS then it no longer becomes possible to write a completely new test each and every year.

My students get to look over their tests during review of that test, during midterm or finals, and just about any other time they want. But they do not get to take the tests home with them. If a parent really wants to see an exam they are more than welcome to come see it, at school. I have had parents do this multiple times this year, usually when they have heard from their child that tests are confusing or too hard as an excuse for a bad grade.

Finally, many school systems (not mine thank god) REQUIRE teachers to use the test banks created by the textbook companies. Some of those companies do not want their intellectual property given to anyone without a license.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:59 PM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 26,729,308 times
Reputation: 7812
I am thinking if I have a 100 average and score a 90 on an assignment, I now have a 95 average..looksike simple math to me?

100 + 90 = 190

divide by 2 = 95....

A 5 point drop...
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:03 PM
 
16,833 posts, read 16,180,553 times
Reputation: 20810
Quote:
Originally Posted by AusParent View Post
On the nose. The 90 is not the issue but its effect lead a much wider issue. How does the grading work? If grades are weighted, we want to know. If there's a major assignment or test coming up, we want to know. If a class has few grading opportunities, we want to know. If our child muffed a grade, we want to know.

We don't want to make a big deal about this but we do want answers. "You get the score you get" (while bowling blind) is not a reasonable answer. The principal stopped responding after the "fine job" email. That was apparently a "case closed" email. I've had similar experiences with elected representatives, now that you mention it.

The sad part is that, grades aside, we really want to enhance our child's education. If we know about some topic in class, we work it. A few weeks ago, we went in search of the sketchiest pond water. And it was a hit in class.

However, it seems like we are being shut out of our child's education. Being involved has been redefined as running school events or donating.
Sorry but a 90 is not muffing a grade. There was nothing about an above average grade that required notifying the parents in this situation. I spend hours each week working with the kids who struggle in my course and just don't have time to notify parents when a child goes from a 94 to a 90 on a SINGLE ASSIGNMENT when there is an online grading system for just this issue.

Absolutely ridiculous to expect to be notified for a student getting a 90.

Now, if grading scales were not given to parents and students in the beginning of the year, that is not fair. But I have never heard of such a thing since every school I have ever worked in not only required teachers to do this but also put grading scales in the student handbooks.

As for knowing when tests are doesn't your child have a homework book of some kind in which they write down assignments? Why can't they write down testing dates? And just fyi, if you want to know when tests are coming up, they tend to follow completion of chapters or units.

I had a parent complain that when they took their son out of the country for a week and a half that he missed a test they didn't know was coming up. Well duh, I test every week and a half to two weeks. He missed the entire chapter, and they never notified the school or his teachers that he would be gone until the day they left. Now they actually asked me to stay after with him everyday this week so he can make up what he missed. When I told them he needs to read the material and get notes from his classmates before I can meet with him, they told me they expected me to go through all of the material he missed with him without any preparation on his part, after all its "only fair". People's expectation in education are completely out of whack these days.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:21 PM
 
28,900 posts, read 50,744,495 times
Reputation: 46373
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Aside from the No True Scotsman issues here, there are very good reasons for not sending tests home. Cheating being the primary reason.

Kids, even middle school kids, have been known to keep tests and pass them on to younger friends and siblings. And with the push to test using CCS then it no longer becomes possible to write a completely new test each and every year.

My students get to look over their tests during review of that test, during midterm or finals, and just about any other time they want. But they do not get to take the tests home with them. If a parent really wants to see an exam they are more than welcome to come see it, at school. I have had parents do this multiple times this year, usually when they have heard from their child that tests are confusing or too hard as an excuse for a bad grade.

Finally, many school systems (not mine thank god) REQUIRE teachers to use the test banks created by the textbook companies. Some of those companies do not want their intellectual property given to anyone without a license.
First off, the easy workaround is to have the parent sign the test and send it back end, docking points if it is not returned.

Second, I cannot imagine any serious explanation where the parent cannot see where the kid messed up. Are you serious? How the heck is the parent going to know where the child is having problems? How can a tutor know where the child's particular weaknesses lie?

While my kids are A students, with the occasional B, they are capable of slipping on a test. When that happens, I want to know the whys and wherefores, particularly in sciences and math where so much depends on cumulative knowledge of the subject matter. To not allow the parent to review a child's test at home in order that the problem be addressed outside the school is incredibly bonehead, and borderline criminal--regardless of how you rationalize matters. Reviewing a test in school is simply not the same thing. After all, the parent typically has to get back to his or her job, or the teacher has to return to the class.

So what you're really talking about is the mechanics of giving tests rather than worrying about actually educating the child. If the parent is actually going to be involved in the child's education, then educators have to stop behaving like territorial, myopic fog-brained bureaucrats and make the parents equal partners in the successful teaching of the child.
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