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Old 05-31-2011, 09:06 PM
 
21,862 posts, read 17,872,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post

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.
Oh, when I was expressing approximately the same type of opinion, I've heard in response
"Ask any teacher and they'll tell you, the only thing worse than an uninvolved parent is an overly involved parent."
Fascinating.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: California
34,658 posts, read 38,263,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Oh, when I was expressing approximately the same type of opinion, I've heard in response
"Ask any teacher and they'll tell you, the only thing worse than an uninvolved parent is an overly involved parent."
Fascinating.
It's so true.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
874 posts, read 2,750,636 times
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I do not return tests until all makeup tests (due to absences, special ed pullouts, etc.) for that unit/chapter/whatever have been completed (usually within a week or so after the initial test was given). Having said that, I have had two families at our school in which the parent will keep the tests the older sibling takes and then coach the younger sibling the following year. I can work around this in some subjects in which I am able to create teacher-made tests, but in two subjects we are required to use only the district-issued tests. Even with this issue, I still return tests - having this happen with 2 families out of many is certainly not enough to preclude me from handing back tests. Sometimes tests don't make it home to the parents when I send them and sometimes they don't come back to me when "please sign and return" is requested, but that's to be expected.

The students keep the majority of their graded work in their binders for the duration of the unit and/or the nine week grading period for reference. I currently teach fourth grade. We participate in AVID Elementary in 4th and 5th grades, so their binder is their primary organizational tool. This is also where they write down their daily assignments and update their monthly calendar with upcoming test dates.

It is odd that the grading software does not display the weighting of grades for parent view, but there are several different grading systems out there, so I'm sure some don't offer that option. Projects are typically weighted more than a daily assignment, so it might impact the average more than daily work would, but that is determined by the teacher/administration/district/school board (have seen all of these options at different schools). The number of grades required per grading period also can vary per subject. For example, we are required to have at least 2 grades per week in Math, Reading, and Language Arts. Of those, there must be at least 3 summative (test/project/assessment/product) grades in that grading period. (For Reading, the weighting is a bit different because AR counts as 25% of their grade for the grading period, leaving formative to count for 50% and summative for 25%). For Science and Social Studies, we are only required to have 1 grade per week with 2 of those in the grading period being summative grades. Policies vary, but those are ours - just to give you an idea. The grading policy really should be stated to either students or parents (or both) at the beginning of the school year, found in the school handbook, found in the district handbook, and/or found on the teacher's or school's website somewhere.

Hope you have a better experience in the upcoming school year.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:51 AM
 
8,240 posts, read 16,228,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Oh, when I was expressing approximately the same type of opinion, I've heard in response
"Ask any teacher and they'll tell you, the only thing worse than an uninvolved parent is an overly involved parent."
Fascinating.
I stand by that comment, which I made...in this thread or another. Any extreme is counterproductive. When a parent is overly involved and hovering, questioning every grade, every paper, every comment the message is "I don't trust you". When a parent doesn't show up for conferences, never communicates, the message is "I don't care". Neither of those is what you would call a "partnership".
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 28,413,848 times
Reputation: 9250
Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
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...
Your math might be correct, but more than likely not.

If the average of 100 was earned on 4 scores of 100, then a 90 is earned, the average is (100+100+100+100+90)/5 = 98. This assumes equal weighting of each score.

If the average of 100 was earned on just 1 score, and each score had equal weight, the new average would be 95.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:56 PM
 
316 posts, read 791,592 times
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A 90 in itself is not a bad grade. Is it a good GPA? No. Not if you want to get into a good college or get a scholarship. If parents don't know how the grading works and there are anomalies (like a 90 sinking an entire semester's grade by 4 points) or just plain mistakes (like receiving another student's score), a child could have a GPA far worse than 90." As another poster noted, then it's too late. Schools simply can't tell parents not to worry about grades. They are core to our society. Grades are the focus when a child applies for: a magnet program, a college, a scholarship, a job.

What do we want? We want to 1) be involved in our child's learning and 2) ensure that our child has the best grades possible. Whether we are labeled as hovering is irrelevant. No one is going to advocate for our child better than we are.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:25 PM
 
8,240 posts, read 16,228,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusParent View Post
A 90 in itself is not a bad grade. Is it a good GPA? No. Not if you want to get into a good college or get a scholarship. If parents don't know how the grading works and there are anomalies (like a 90 sinking an entire semester's grade by 4 points) or just plain mistakes (like receiving another student's score), a child could have a GPA far worse than 90." As another poster noted, then it's too late. Schools simply can't tell parents not to worry about grades. They are core to our society. Grades are the focus when a child applies for: a magnet program, a college, a scholarship, a job.

What do we want? We want to 1) be involved in our child's learning and 2) ensure that our child has the best grades possible. Whether we are labeled as hovering is irrelevant. No one is going to advocate for our child better than we are.
Ultimately, the person responsible for that grade is the CHILD. The child is the one sitting in the class, learning the material, and taking the test. If a parent's expectations and the child's performance are not in sync, and the parent has done all the tutoring or practicing they can, the parent will then turn to "advocate" for a higher grade. Too many parents will do whatever necessary, even bully the teacher, to ensure that their child gets "the best grade possible".
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:40 PM
 
16,833 posts, read 16,196,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
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.
Work around for what? Cheating?

How does sending a test home and returning it prevent students from copying it?

Second, I am fundamentally opposed to grading for anything that is not an assessment. That includes giving extra credit or docking points for things unrelated to the material.

Quote:
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?
Ask the teacher? I know a radical idea. I can tell parents very specifically what area their children are not excelling in. Or maybe AS I STATED IN MY POST, come see the test?

Another radical notion, ask the student. I have all my students correct as classwork their mistakes on the test. This way they know exactly what they got wrong.

Quote:
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.
Actually it is frequently copyright infringement to give out test materials too parents. Which test is given the most weight for any part of a students career? The SAT, and that is because the integrity of the test is maintained. Hell, for most of the test dates you cannot even get the test booklet back. People still take the SAT and are able to improve their scores.

Quote:
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.
Cheating is incredibly pervasive. And that includes parents cheating. In order to protect the interests of my students who DO NOT cheat, I will protect the integrity of their test. If you want to pretend that your child can not learn without being given a copy of every test and the answers than I question your integrity. If you are told that you child is struggling with vocabulary or with formula usage or experimental design and cannot figure out where they need work than that is nothing having the test will fix.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:02 AM
 
Location: WA
4,580 posts, read 6,035,934 times
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Definitely agree with lkb0713. Cheating is incredibly pervasive at the HS level. Made worse by technology. For example, an enterprising student with a cell phone camera can easily snap a photo of his completed answer sheet and text it to friends in other classrooms or class periods who are taking the same test. They can also text answers to individual questions to each other. The kids are incredibly good at no-look texting with their phones that are still in their pockets. My science lab has student tables that are bolted to the floor in straight rows and the kids are jammed in pretty tight so I can't easily walk among them.

Personally I think the growing emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing for both student and teacher evaluations and the falling prices for laptops and tablet technology will bring us to the point where sets of computers will be installed in every classroom NOT to teach the kids innovative technological stuff, but for testing. This year I'm administering all my final exams on computer. Other teachers aren't using computers during exams so the laptop carts are free for my use. The testing software we have available lets me create a randomly-generated unique test for every student. I have a 100 question physics final and every student sees the questions presented in a different order and even with the answer choices scrambled. So no student has the same question #8 and even if a student can see another student's screen when they are on the same question, the answer choices will be in a different order. But better yet, because the kids are taking the test on computer there is no answer sheet on each desk for roaming eyes to see or to be photographed and shipped around to other classes.

I expect the need for secure standardized testing will drive the future application and investment of technology in the classroom more than the need to teach kids powerpoint or let them to social networking about classroom topics. And it is much more helpful for teachers than traditional bubble-in with pencil ScanTron tests because I can create reports to see which questions the kids are missing, which incorrect answers they are picking, and do all kinds of sophisticated data analysis that I can't do with tests taken on paper.

And if a parent has questions about a kid's performance on a test I can print out individual test reports for every student showing which questions they got wrong, the answer they chose, and the correct answer.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:59 AM
 
3,086 posts, read 7,177,076 times
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On the subject of cheating....my second daughter teaches high school math. One of the assignments before school was out regarded note cards with review problems. One student was going out of town for a few days before the cards were due, so my daughter helped her one on one with them and did so very quickly without having finished her own set or the answer key. As it turns out, several of the problems were done incorrectly and daughter realized it after the student had gone out of town. She did not count off for those on the note cards for this student since she was partly at fault for going too quickly and before she was ready and she had the correct answers waiting for her when she would return.

Fast forward and my daughter gets a phone call from the AP, asking her about this situation, explaining having gotten a phone call from said student (who was out of town still unable to return on time due to weather cancellations) who was accusing my daughter of giving her the wrong answers on purpose and so that her friends who COPIED her note cards would also get the wrong answers.

Really?

My daughter says she explained to the AP and then to the student when she called her, that it was definitely not on purpose, that she could not believe she had missed that herself when helping the student. She told her that because it was entirely her fault that she did NOT count those wrong on that student's cards. (before the student had even called about it) However, if she let others copy of hers instead of doing it themselves, then that's on THEM getting it wrong in addition to copying..............
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