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LisaK in VA

That time, when 100% is really a 95%? A vent.

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I've been a teacher in a school, but teachers like this I will never understand.

 

Background, this teacher does not believe in giving grades of 100%.  He believes that there is always room for improvement.  I've been in the arts (music/drama performance).  I get that there is always room for improvement, and perfect is rarely, truly perfect.

 

But, when you give an objective test (fill in the blank, matching, short answer, etc.), score it in class where all answers are correct, plus all of the extra credit questions are correct, and then award a final grade of 97%, it's enough to drive me mad.  

 

Oh, and a certain math teacher grades this way as well -- which is math-defying.  Papers with a rubric, where the rubric grades equal 100%, but the teacher knocks off a few points, just because "no one is perfect."  

 

I have never found these grading methods to be either objectively fair or generate an incentive to do better.  If anything, with gifted students, it's a disincentive, creating the feeling of "why bother."  Even going above and beyond, you're essentially penalized.  This pushes my buttons.

 

Yes, this has real-life implications (dh had a Captain one time who employed this method.  NEVER gave a perfect performance review -- but all of the other Captains would.  When promotion decisions are based primarily upon those reviews and your most recent one is a 4/5 -- and you're compared to those who still aren't perfect, but have a higher average, because they at least got some 5's -- you don't get the promotion).

 

 

 

 

 

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I was under the impression that some teachers do this especially at the the beginning so by the end of the year they can prove their inputs contributed to the improvement of the student.

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That sounds like a teacher on a power trip.

 

If indeed the student correctly identified 100% of answers on a test correctly, I would take the paper back in and demand answers. 20 out of 20 questions (or whatever)= 100%. If a math teacher fails to understand that, I wouldn't hesitate to go higher up.

 

Grrrr.

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I've heard local homeschool "experts" suggest scattering the occasional grade that is slightly lower than the typical (so if your kid normally gets all A's, scatter a B in there) so the transcript looks more "real". To me, that seems just as bad as giving "Mommy A's" without requiring the work. If grades don't reflect the sfudent's mastery of a subject honestly, they're worthless.

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My son has a bad teacher this year.  She laughs as she tells them that on every test her goal is to give at least one "curve ball" question that no one can get correct.  Then she brags about how many missed it (her goal is to have 100% of the students not get those questions correct.)

 

She is a first year teacher, and as those in the South would say, "Bless her heart" but I am not from the South and I use much stronger words and am more of a straight shooter!   

 

She is also an NFL cheerleader.    She talks about cheerleading, her boyfriend, and football.  If the kids ask a question in class she responds with, "look it up."  

 

She doesn't accept late work, but takes up to 4 weeks to grade papers, esp. during football season.

 

Ok, rant over.....

 

My son has no chance of getting an A in that class and it shouldn't be a hard class!

 

That is just bad teacher-ing!

 

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That sounds unethical and I would make a stink. You can't falsify someone's grade to make them feel better, why should you be allowed to falsify someone's grade to "humble them"?

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What I did in a similar situation was demand a written grading policy. My kid took no further classes from any teacher who didnt hand out such a policy on day one. This is a sign of a teacher who is ranking students...the favs will getting the grades they need to ensure their class ranking and gpa puts them in the top 10. Some are smart enough to hand out a grading policy, and you will note the tests arent all of the grade...they will include contribution to class discussion. A nonfavored child will have difficulty getting all those points, because of the ranking desire.

 

Eta: you do know they are ranking intellectual potential when they give a LOR? Even if the student perfect scored the class, they wont be getting the top recommendation automatically. The ungraded traits matter.

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I had a teacher who didn't like giving 100% but as a math and science teaxher he had to pull out the hardest questions in order to legitimately not give 100's. He was not happy when I ended the year with a 100% grade overall in the 2 classes I had with him. I was the type of student who could easily get an A or easily get a C, it all depended on how I felt about the class and teacher. He was an ass so I made it a point to put him down a notch. What made him even more upset is that he knew I wasn't a top student.

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I had a college history instructor who said before each test....I only give one A.....all the rest will be behind that one.

 

I was a shy kid so I never asked what would happen if two students were tied...but I do remember that I didn't give a flip about making an excellent grade in his class because I believed it to be impossible.

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I was under the impression that some teachers do this especially at the the beginning so by the end of the year they can prove their inputs contributed to the improvement of the student.

 

This was a test given on Tuesday, but yes -- the policy has been going throughout the year.  She had him last semester for Drama, this semester for Music Appreciation.  She has been given a few 100% this year (one, on her presentation, which was incredibly thorough and practiced, and was due the day after spring break -- guess who didn't get much of a break? -- she had to go first, while others had an extra month to prepare). However, he dropped her participation grade for the day to a 90.   :confused1:

 

He seems to work out his grading, so that dd always has a 96% overall.  She has a friend in band who is graded similarly (whose father is a Captain in one of the nice houses...and whose older brother is known as a star student).  

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In UK terms, that would mean that the exam was too easy.  Even maths tests are constructed in such a way that it's nigh-on impossible to get 100%.  An A is usually about 70%, an A* around 80%.  The idea is to always give the best students somewhere to stretch into.

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I had a college history instructor who said before each test....I only give one A.....all the rest will be behind that one.

 

I was a shy kid so I never asked what would happen if two students were tied...but I do remember that I didn't give a flip about making an excellent grade in his class because I believed it to be impossible.

 

I had one of those -- he was actually a misogynistic prick.  I took one class with him 2nd semester of my freshman year (which he apparently wasn't happy about, since it was a 300 level course).  I was borderline A/B all semester.  The last speech of the semester (which was, by his account, the best speech of the class), he gave me a "B," because my OUTLINE didn't persuade him as much as my speech had.   :cursing:   I tried to avoid taking any additional classes with him after that -- but was forced into one, because it was that or spin my wheels for one more required class for that major and another $7,000 in debt for a 4th year.  First day of class, there were four of us, 2 guys and 2 girls.  He looked at each of us in turn and said, "We have four people in this class, you'll get the A (one of my male peers), you'll get the B (to me), you'll get the C (a guy in my major I'd never seen before), and you'll get the D (my best friend).  It didn't matter what I did, I would always be graded below my male peer.  We even conspired one time to prove the bias -- and true to form, I still go the B.  What was just shocking, was that he passed out a copy of "the best test" (a compilation of the best answers for each question).  More often than not, my answers made up the bulk of this test (and it was commented on by the other students).  He always finagled it by saying point differences add up -- but no one bought it.  Even the guy getting the "A" was confused and apologetic to me.  In hind sight, I should have gone to the Dean the first day of class and lodged a complaint -- or at the very least, gathered the three friends of mine, our tests/papers, at the end of the semester and argued my case (with their support), but I didn't.  I was just so glad to get out of there and away from him, I didn't care.  That one professor cost my a Summa Cum Laude.  I could have had a couple of B's, but his pushed me out of contention.  Thank the Good Lord, he is no longer teaching.  And yes, my best friend still got the D, even though the guy getting the C didn't show up for the final.  :cursing:

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In UK terms, that would mean that the exam was too easy.  Even maths tests are constructed in such a way that it's nigh-on impossible to get 100%.  An A is usually about 70%, an A* around 80%.  The idea is to always give the best students somewhere to stretch into.

 

It's one thing to give a tough exam -- a 100%, while rare, would still be possible.  It's a whole other ball of wax for a person to get 100% correct and be denied the proper grade.

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It's one thing to give a tough exam -- a 100%, while rare, would still be possible.  It's a whole other ball of wax for a person to get 100% correct and be denied the proper grade.

 

I agree with you, so long as the rules were clear to start off with.  Brits don't expect to get 100%.  

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I understand. Ds received no scores below an A on ANYTHING in his introduction to music class this past semester in college. He missed no assignments, and got a 100% on the final.

 

He was given a B. The professor - who had NEVER indicated this was his policy prior - told him "I don't give A's. There is always room to improve."

 

Nice.

 

If there had been any mention of this at the beginning of class or if it had been in the course syllabus, ds would have promptly dropped the class and added something else because he has to watch his GPA. He has a scholarship linked to a 3.5 so that B is not good!

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In my homeschool, no writing assignment/project can earn greater than 95% (not that my kids were ever in danger of getting even that, lol) precisely because writing can always be improved upon, and it is still an excellent score.  For an objective test where all the points add up to 100 and the student answered all the questions correctly, then he/she has earned 100%. Again, this is a rare occurrence in my house as well :)  My expectations for mastery are 85% overall (tests & projects/essays). One needs to go above and beyond to earn an 'A'.  I'm a tough grader.  On the flip side, I don't fail my kids easily either.  If they turn in a writing assignment or project that resembles the assignment and is submitted on time, the lowest grade I'll award is 70 - which is the lowest passing grade in my homeschool. Likewise, if they totally bomb a test, the lowest grade I award is 60% and assign a retake to be averaged as the final score.  Of course, this is based on effort - sloppiness and a nonchalant attitude require a redo with 60% firm.

On my report card (yes, I do them)  C (70-79%) is Below Expectations, working below grade level, but not failing. B (80-89) is Meets Expectations, working at grade level, and A (90 or better) is Exceeds Expectations - working at above grade level.  Based on this criteria, my kids rarely make As and that is perfectly okay!

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me="LisaK in VA is in IT" post="7036317" timestamp="1465052964"]

 

 

The thinking is that a 100 on B material earns a B. The A goes to the person who went above and beyond....sought out teacher to discuss unassigned works on the topic, asked for clarification on details, demonstrated understanding of nuances etc. An ex here: https://www.cis.ksu.edu/advising/faqs/studentc, contributed to the class discussion with pertinent points etc.

 

Even in elementary school, the 100 does not earn the top grade here. It earns a 3, or proficient...and everyone scoring 85 or better gets that grade. To earn a 4, the 100 must be on above grade level material...often the stdents arent given the opportunity to even demonstrate that level of knowledge, or the class they are in is so simplistic they dont have any questions about the material or they extend it to the point that it confuses the included so they dont get to bring their point into discussion.

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I got all Bs in CCD one year because the teachers said "only God is perfect enough to get an A". At the time I was annoyed - it was my first B! Looking back, it was just weird. 

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Dh had a college professor like this. Dh was working full time and going to college at night but had a 4.0 GPA. This professor would give tests with questions never discussed in the readings or in class. He bragged about how badly everyone in the class was doing. Dh was failing the class going into the final even after going in for help frequently. The professor handed out the final, Dh said he looked at this last test with nothing at all resembling material from class, stood up, said, "This is ****," threw it in the trash and walked out. Dh was very surprised to see an A- as his final grade the next week.

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I got all Bs in CCD one year because the teachers said "only God is perfect enough to get an A". At the time I was annoyed - it was my first B! Looking back, it was just weird. 

 

Were they French?  Maize has quoted a French saying that says that an A is for god.

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I had a college class that was graded on a curve so there were only so many A's , B's, C's etc.  It made everyone in the class behave in an extremely ugly manner because to help your neighbor meant that they might snag one of the higher grades.  As far as I know, I was the only one who did not participate in that jockeying for position.  I had people cry in relief that I would let them copy my notes after they had missed a class due to illness.  I did get an A in the class. 

 

Edited because I really shouldn't try to post when I'm drugged.  ;)  (By a doctor!)

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me="LisaK in VA is in IT" post="7036317" timestamp="1465052964"]

 

 

The thinking is that a 100 on B material earns a B. The A goes to the person who went above and beyond....sought out teacher to discuss unassigned works on the topic, asked for clarification on details, demonstrated understanding of nuances etc. An ex here: https://www.cis.ksu.edu/advising/faqs/studentc, contributed to the class discussion with pertinent points etc.

 

Even in elementary school, the 100 does not earn the top grade here. It earns a 3, or proficient...and everyone scoring 85 or better gets that grade. To earn a 4, the 100 must be on above grade level material...often the stdents arent given the opportunity to even demonstrate that level of knowledge, or the class they are in is so simplistic they dont have any questions about the material or they extend it to the point that it confuses the included so they dont get to bring their point into discussion.

 

I'm missing something in your explanations --  Not sure what you mean by, "The thinking is that a 100 on B material earns a B."  Are you saying that dd's teacher is giving "B" material, and dd goes above and beyond, but not quite enough?  Because that is not how it is explained in class.  The class is simply told that the teacher doesn't "believe" in 100%, and adjusts grades to manipulate the final outcome.  Hence, the 100% on the actual presentation grade and a 90% on the participation grade (she's leading the class and the discussion -- I'm not sure how one can participate more fully at that point).  Conversely, a student with a 90% on a presentation received a participation grade of 98%. The kids at the "top" essentially can't do anything to raise their grade -- only lower it.  Whatever they do to raise it in one area, the teacher will drop a grade in another area to "balance" it.  This is really only done to kids who are at the top.  Kids earning B's and C's on their own get the grade as earned.

 

"exceeds expectations" is exactly that, isn't it?  The grading rubric lays it all out (far exceeds, exceeds, meets -- grade level -- below, and does not meet).  A "far exceeds" is worth 20 points.  There are five graded sections of the rubric.  Each part receives an individual grade, and then that is calculated into the final grade.  Child receives 5 "far exceeds" -- a total of 100 points, but the final grade assigned is 95?

 

In our elementary grades, we have E, M, N (Exceeds, Meets and Needs Improvement).  The only way to achieve an E is to score perfectly in above grade level material.  I received M's in all "grade level" work, and "E's" only in subjects I was clearly working above grade level and at a high performance.  

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I had a college class that was graded on a curve so there were only so many A's , B's, C's etc.  It made everyone in was he class behave extremely ugly because to help your neighbor meant that they might snag on of the higher grades.  As far as I know, I was the only one who did not participate in that jockeying for position.  I had people cry in relief that I would let them copy my notes after they had missed a class due to illness.  I did get an A in the class. 

 

Ouch -- and I would have done the same thing.  I did, in fact, loan my notes to a kid who missed class.  It was the last time, because he lost my notebook :p  In competitive debate while I coached, we had a policy of sharing evidence with the smaller, under-coached teams (I was at USNA).  We had a policy of trading with teams who were more of an equal or above footing coaching-wise.  I explained to my kids that evidence alone wasn't enough -- you had to be able to use and apply the evidence effectively.  

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I understand. Ds received no scores on ANYTHING in his introduction to music class this past semester in college. He missed no assignments, and got a 100% on the final.

 

He was given a B. The professor - who had NEVER indicated this was his policy prior - told him "I don't give A's. There is always room to improve."

 

Nice.

 

If there had been any mention of this at the beginning of class or if it had been in the course syllabus, ds would have promptly dropped the class and added something else because he has to watch his GPA. He has a scholarship linked to a 3.5 so that B is not good!

 

Yeah, that would really stink!  

 

I was in music performance for years (I played one semester in college).  I get the "no perfect grades" in music.  However, not the no "As."

 

Routinely, we were graded in these areas:  Scales, a performance piece, theory, and a sight reading piece.  No one ever got a 100 -- the sight-reading piece ensured that.  However, we could receive perfect scores on the scale, performance and theory portion (because that reflected practice outside of class).  I don't think anyone ever got above a 95.  No one complained though, because it was a fair system -- and it was explained ahead of time.

 

Grades matter in high school and college.  Losing a scholarship because of a random B would have probably been enough to send me into a tailspin -- because it would have meant leaving college entirely!  I wonder if your son's prof realizes the potential dire consequences that policy can have on his students?

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I got all Bs in CCD one year because the teachers said "only God is perfect enough to get an A". At the time I was annoyed - it was my first B! Looking back, it was just weird. 

 

That would have been annoying, wonder how they would have felt about a retort, "but aren't we made in the image of God -- a reflection of His glory?"  

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What I did in a similar situation was demand a written grading policy. My kid took no further classes from any teacher who didnt hand out such a policy on day one. This is a sign of a teacher who is ranking students...the favs will getting the grades they need to ensure their class ranking and gpa puts them in the top 10. Some are smart enough to hand out a grading policy, and you will note the tests arent all of the grade...they will include contribution to class discussion. A nonfavored child will have difficulty getting all those points, because of the ranking desire.

 

Eta: you do know they are ranking intellectual potential when they give a LOR? Even if the student perfect scored the class, they wont be getting the top recommendation automatically. The ungraded traits matter.

 

This teacher leaves the school this year -- dd won't have him in high school.

 

We'll be on the lookout for things like this, though!  

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In UK terms, that would mean that the exam was too easy.  Even maths tests are constructed in such a way that it's nigh-on impossible to get 100%.  An A is usually about 70%, an A* around 80%.  The idea is to always give the best students somewhere to stretch into.

 

In case no one else has mentioned - in the US, 90-100% is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70-79 is a C, etc. 59% or less is failing. The pluses and minuses are more subjective, but fall within the range. In my dd's school, the grades are based on mastery of the material, so it is possible to get a 100%. I like the idea of something left to learn, though. 

 

In my homeschool, no writing assignment/project can earn greater than 95% (not that my kids were ever in danger of getting even that, lol) precisely because writing can always be improved upon, and it is still an excellent score.  For an objective test where all the points add up to 100 and the student answered all the questions correctly, then he/she has earned 100%. Again, this is a rare occurrence in my house as well :)  My expectations for mastery are 85% overall (tests & projects/essays). One needs to go above and beyond to earn an 'A'.  I'm a tough grader.  On the flip side, I don't fail my kids easily either.  If they turn in a writing assignment or project that resembles the assignment and is submitted on time, the lowest grade I'll award is 70 - which is the lowest passing grade in my homeschool. Likewise, if they totally bomb a test, the lowest grade I award is 60% and assign a retake to be averaged as the final score.  Of course, this is based on effort - sloppiness and a nonchalant attitude require a redo with 60% firm.

On my report card (yes, I do them)  C (70-79%) is Below Expectations, working below grade level, but not failing. B (80-89) is Meets Expectations, working at grade level, and A (90 or better) is Exceeds Expectations - working at above grade level.  Based on this criteria, my kids rarely make As and that is perfectly okay!

 

 

It's perfectly okay unless and until they need to get scholarships for college or do PSEO. (That's our state-funded option for juniors and seniors to dual enroll in college). To get into the PSEO program you must have a 3.5 GPA. If you get all B's, you're not going to get in. 

 

I get the idea, and I have no objections to tough grading, but I think some teachers need to realize that the grades they give have consequences and need to be honest and accurate. 

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Might it be an European vs American thing?

 

In all the pages I found about American grades I've been warned not to interprete an A+ like a 100%

I recognize a lot of Laura Corins posts, a student just can not get 100% in the Netherlands too.

 

I'v been told that the american way of grading is like cheerleading: yeah fantastic!!! Yeah you are doing great!!!

Believing that support, self-confidence is the base to Excel.

 

I also recognize the reasoning that getting 100%s gives you nothing to work for, it gets one lazy.

So a 'good teacher' grades accordingly.

 

And yes, the only time I got 100% for English like the other students, the school graded our grades downwards.

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But, when you give an objective test (fill in the blank, matching, short answer, etc.), score it in class where all answers are correct, plus all of the extra credit questions are correct, and then award a final grade of 97%, it's enough to drive me mad.  

 

 

Once you are in a regimen where there is 'extra credit' on a test, you have to accept that the percentage awarded isn't a pure mathematical construct anyway.

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It's one thing if an entire country's school system uses a grading system that doesn't include 100% but you can still get an A at a lower percentage.  Employers, scholarship committees, and anyone else who might use grades as a measure know the system and can judge you on your merits within that system.  But the American system of having a grade from 90 - 100% is what people in the US are using and if you have teachers within that system who don't conform to the system, you end up with inequalities that  have nothing to do with someone's actual progress in the class. 

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Once you are in a regimen where there is 'extra credit' on a test, you have to accept that the percentage awarded isn't s pure mathematical construct anyway.

 

The actual grade is 100%, and the "extra credit" is added to the total points earned for the class.  It's a way for kids at the lower end of the class to raise the grade (for example a favorite student, who turns in assignments late and loses points, earns the extra credit and boom -- back at the top of the class).

 

Most of my kids' courses are graded on a total points earned out of total points available.

 

Tests = 2,000 points (100's on 10 tests, at 200 points each = 2000 points)

Quizzes = 1000 points (100's on 20 quizzes, at 50 points each = 1000)

Homework = 1000 points (100 assignments, worth a total of 10 points each)

Participation = 900 points (10 points each day of class)

Extra Credit = not calculated into total points available.

 

I did have a final point total in my 10th grade honors English class, where my total points earned far exceeded the total available (I did every extra credit assignment, as I loved studying Mythology, and it was a huge portion of that class that year.).  But, in the end, my final grade was just "A" (there were no pluses or minuses at that school)

 

Again, how it's being used in this case -- top students, who do the extra credit can *never* get rewarded for going above and beyond.  It is another way the teacher uses to help manipulate grades.  

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Ime To raise her participation grade, she has to show initiative and higher order thinking skills consistently.. Read unassigned material (above grade level), ask what ifs, and bring it in to class discussion or a 1:1 discussion

with teacher as evidence to make a point that demonstrates higher order thinking skills. Essentially, push to become the expert, but express humbleness that there is more to learn. Allow the classmates a voice, dont monopolize the discussion.

The way class participation is graded here is a 0, 5 or 10. 0 is unprepared or didnt engage during class. 5 is prepared, engaged, did not use higher order thinking skill.10 is prepared, engaged, used higher order thinking skill. The favs always get called on, so their points will average higher than the nonfavs....the favoritism is very noticeable, when C students try to get called on and are ignored for the favored perso with hand not up.

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Again: just for comparison.  At the university where I work (which uses a twenty point grading scale) one student on the Masters programme was awarded a 20/20 this week.  The essay is at a level expected of a second or third year PhD student and it has already been accepted for publication in a prestigious journal.

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I have a serious problem with a teacher saying that there's room for improvement but showing by his grading policy that he is unwilling to recognize improvement.  The teacher isn't actually leaving room for improvement if he refuses to let students earn those higher grades.  He's just using a different scale, and it only hurts the students.  It's a different matter altogether to say, "I don't give many 100's.  You have to work really, really hard to get that score.  But I want you to try for it."

 

I do think grading subjective work is hard for homeschoolers and new teachers, because ideally a teacher will grade students against reasonable expectations of what students in that class ought to be capable of.  We just don't have enough experience to know where that bar should be.  But it's still part of the job description if you're giving grades -- you have to figure out what your expectations are for top-level work and communicate that in a way that motivates the student to work to meet those expectations.

 

And there is absolutely no excuse for grading math classes with a hard maximum of less than 100%.  The score ought to reflect mastery of what has been taught.  Tricky or challenging problems can be part of that, but ultimately the grade should be an honest reflection of how well the student mastered the taught material.  And it is absolutely possible to master a math concept 100%.

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Ime To raise her participation grade, she has to show initiative and higher order thinking skills consistently.. Read unassigned material (above grade level), ask what ifs, and bring it in to class discussion or a 1:1 discussion

with teacher as evidence to make a point that demonstrates higher order thinking skills. Essentially, push to become the expert, but express humbleness that there is more to learn. Allow the classmates a voice, dont monopolize the discussion.

The way class participation is graded here is a 0, 5 or 10. 0 is unprepared or didnt engage during class. 5 is prepared, engaged, did not use higher order thinking skill.10 is prepared, engaged, used higher order thinking skill. The favs always get called on, so their points will average higher than the nonfavs....the favoritism is very noticeable, when C students try to get called on and are ignored for the favored perso with hand not up.

I don't think it's a matter of raising her participation grade. The teacher uses the participation grade to manipulate numbers to a desired outcome. A high score on an assignment nets a low participation grade. A lower score on an assignment nets a higher participation grade. He believes my daughter should maintain an average of 96. The way he has graded her over the course of the year reflects that.

 

This policy only directly impacts high scoring, usually highly motivated, and hard-working students.

 

A hardworking, motivated student who is in no danger of earning top marks will not have their test scores manipulated. An 80 will remain an 80. The participation grades for all of dd's friends seem to all be within a 90-97 range, regardless of overall grade, which has the impact of helping lower performing students.

 

I'm sure many teachers intentionally, but hopefully mostly unintentionally, use participation grades in a biased way. I don't think I was ever graded on participation. If I was, it must have worked out in my favor, though as I have zero recollection. I know in the high school speech and drama course I taught, I did have participation grades, but I'm pretty sure I was pretty objective. Everyone started with an A. As long as you were prepared (had read the assignment), took part in class activities (impromptu activities, team debate, and others), you maintained your A for the day. I did not provide a study sheet for exams, but was clear during lectures that if it were something I repeated, or said, "this is important" that they should mark it, and know it. But anything from the chapter or lectures was fair game. I put some very difficult questions on my tests, and was actually surprised when a student or two would know the answer. My goal was to be tough, have high expectations, but fair. Anyone who wanted to work hard could get an A. Maybe not a 100, but an A. Anyone who just did the required work would pass. I had one student who got a D. He had started off strong, but somewhere during the 2nd semester he stopped trying altogether. I tried talking to him, and his mom (I tried setting up a conference,but when she didn't respond, I chased her down in the parking lot one morning. I got nowhere. I still wonder what was going on, because he was a changed young man).

 

Yes, leading and excelling should still come with a dose of humility. I don't think dd has ever been accused by anyone as being a know-it-all, or arrogant. She has a pretty realistic attitude, and works hard at learning. She's been graded on her dancing this quarter in her music class. My how she practiced! She sweats over her grade in her music and PE classes like I never did. I only stressed in classes that were challenging...She stresses over classes that shouldn't be that stressful.

 

But, the more challenging the coursework, the harder I worked for top marks. If the paper required 3 sources, I'd find 6. If the paper had a minimum length, and no maximum,,I'd write double. If there was a max, I'd hit it. She's a lot like that. DD easily put in 30 hours of work into a middle school music appreciation multi-media presentation. Research, organization, preparation, and practice. I had her practice in front of a mirror, and offered suggestions as to how to improve it, I helped her think about giving her speech like acting in a play, advice which she happily took. The quality of her work far exceeded what most 8th graders could or would do.

 

I am not in any way disappointed in her work, and I honestly don't think it would have mattered in the least if she hadn't devoted 30+ hours to that presentation. She would still have a 96 in the class.

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holy cow, seriously? seriously??  My dd got over 100 in a college class. Bonus points for something or other...

What utter nonsense. The room for improvement is in the next level class. THIS level was done perfectly. 

 

We've never seen anything like that in math or science courses. Some humanities courses though have had extremely weird grading rubrics. 

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My kid had a math teacher that graded all homework problems with a percentage grade. That homework grade had a large weight in the final course grade. But it was really unfair, because in math, homework problems are like test piloting the new concept - it's rare to have everyone get everything right (especially with a teacher who does NOT do a great job explaining the concept, or only briefly covers it during class time with no/not enough examples!). From the get go even the best students knew they would have their grade affected despite good efforts.

 

I'm all for giving completion grades for math homework, but penalizing earnest attempts in the learning process is simply demoralizing. Tests are for assessing mastery, let them have their place.

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In case no one else has mentioned - in the US, 90-100% is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70-79 is a C, etc. 59% or less is failing. The pluses and minuses are more subjective, but fall within the range. In my dd's school, the grades are based on mastery of the material, so it is possible to get a 100%. I like the idea of something left to learn, though. 

 

 

 

 

While this is usually true, it's not always. I've been in plenty of schools where 70% and below is failing. 

 

I do believe that any grading policy should be made clear to students at the beginning of the class/year.

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I am quite familiar with the pegging of the grade. What I encourage my sons to do is visit during office hours and ask for suggestions for areas to improve on, then take it up a level consistently. They will never be allowed to have a score higher than the designated winner, but they will improve, they will learn how to be a student that the teacher sees improving, and the knowledge they gain will help them in life.

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I have teachers that grade on a normalised curve but everyone knew. Her tests and exams were hard so grading on a curve was to our benefit.

 

We've never seen anything like that in math or science courses. Some humanities courses though have had extremely weird grading rubrics.

I have that for math and science at high school level. You need to go beyond what is taught to earn a perfect score. Basically scholar calibre for that subject even if you are not a scholarship holder.

 

For math you can submit a good proof that does the job in the exam or a better proof that makes the lecturers sleep on it.

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Grades matter in high school and college.  Losing a scholarship because of a random B would have probably been enough to send me into a tailspin -- because it would have meant leaving college entirely!  I wonder if your son's prof realizes the potential dire consequences that policy can have on his students?

Grades do matter.

 

A young man I knew was brilliant in school--studying and doing well came easily to him. Straight As in every class and grade except one class.....his 4th grade Art teacher refused to give anyone an A, so he got a B. He was an excellent student and won awards for his artwork only a short time later. I suppose he could have done something really lame in art class, but I don't remember anyone discussing it. This was a teacher power play.

 

When all was said and done he missed being valedictorian in his class of 600 by an miniscule amount. It was so close the school used all grades from elementary on to determine GPA. In the end it was determined he and another student were tied and would be co-valedictorians. Without that B in 4th grade art, he would have been the sole big V, it was that close.  

 

He managed to get good scholarships, but everyone agreed there were some monetary dings that came with that solitary B.

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My drama teacher in 9th grade would give a 95% as the highest grade possilble. I actually won "best actress" at a competition, and my small group won for best ensemble. Still I could only get a 95. It was my second lowest grade that year. I dropped drama the next year. (by the way my lowest grade was in typing!)

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I have teachers that grade on a normalised curve but everyone knew. Her tests and exams were hard so grading on a curve was to our benefit.

 

 

I have that for math and science at high school level. You need to go beyond what is taught to earn a perfect score. Basically scholar calibre for that subject even if you are not a scholarship holder.

 

For math you can submit a good proof that does the job in the exam or a better proof that makes the lecturers sleep on it.

Even after going to 2 different universities, teaching in 1 college & now having dd a student there, I have to say naive me never realized until quite recently that some people thought this way & entire faculties (or I guess even schools) are set up like this.  I always thought courses should have a clear body of knowledge / skills to be mastered and if the student demonstrates it & meets the stated requirements, then they should get the perfect score (or darn close).   There's something very troubling to me about this kind of assessment model .... I guess because to me it's predicated on brilliance (or private tutoring or better schooling before this class) rather than on the instructor in THAT course helping THOSE students master the material. 

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In case no one else has mentioned - in the US, 90-100% is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70-79 is a C, etc. 59% or less is failing. The pluses and minuses are more subjective, but fall within the range. In my dd's school, the grades are based on mastery of the material, so it is possible to get a 100%. I like the idea of something left to learn, though. 

 

 

This actually varies quite a bit; the US does not have a national grading standard, it is up to the local school district (or the school, if it's private). I've seen A's begin anywhere from 90 to 94, and lots of districts do not use plus or minus at all. 

 

 

 

And I would encourage a child to be very happy with a grade consistently in the high 90's. 

 

A teacher who never gave 100% would not bother me at all. 

 

It can bother American parents more because some areas do indeed use percentages and not just grades. I think New York is one of them - if you want to get into a certain college within their system, an A of 98% is better than an A of 95%. In other areas, an A is an A and a B is a B. 

 

And Americans care about the letter grades because a tremendous amount of money can ride on whether a student gets an A at the end of the class versus a B. If arbitrarily never getting above 95 on assignments results in a B instead of an A, you better believe I want my kid to be awarded a 97 if that's what they actually earned. "Yes, your student earned a 97, but my policy is to give never give higher than a 95. Terribly sorry that might cost you $20,000!" 

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Even after going to 2 different universities, teaching in 1 college & now having dd a student there, I have to say naive me never realized until quite recently that some people thought this way & entire faculties (or I guess even schools) are set up like this. I always thought courses should have a clear body of knowledge / skills to be mastered and if the student demonstrates it & meets the stated requirements, then they should get the perfect score (or darn close). There's something very troubling to me about this kind of assessment model .... I guess because to me it's predicated on brilliance (or private tutoring or better schooling before this class) rather than on the instructor in THAT course helping THOSE students master the material.

I completely agree. And good luck to kids who have more than one instructor with this philosophy, they may be able to go far above and beyond for one class but I don't see how that's possible 3, 4, or 5 classes.

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Yeah grading is weird, especially in Europe.

 

There was recently a discussion on a Dutch expat group I'm a part of about grades in The Netherlands. 10's are not given. 9's are rare. The best to hope for is an 8. A 7 is perfectly acceptable, a good grade even. Even native English speaking kids in the English-learning classes can't hope to get a 9 (even if they speak English better than the teacher). To get into Delft (the MIT of The Netherlands) you aren't really expected to have any 10's. This is fine in NL, but there's been cases where these grades are "converted" when the student goes overseas, and the 8 becomes B's, the 7 C's, and everything below a failing grade. The lack of scholarships and ranking has a very real impact on the students.

 

I had a substitute prof once in undergrad who was new to America and kept blabbing on about how we Americans were spoiled to think about getting an A, and how in Greece nobody could think of getting an A, and so on and so on. After listening to this spiel for quite a few class periods, and all of us worrying about our grade, one of my classmates just spoke up and told her in no uncertain terms that she was teaching in America now, and that's how America works, so if she wants to continue teaching here she should just get used to it. I guess she was new and young enough for it to sink in, because our grades were as we expected.

 

I never really had much of a problem with participation grades - if you showed up in class and didn't fall asleep during the lecture, you got full marks. But then I had one class where the participation grade was really ugly, only the guy in the front row who shouted out the answers before the teacher was done asking it got full marks. Introverted me trying to scribble down the information was consistently marked down. I hated it so much.

 

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It's a bit insane that someone's grade in 4th class is a problem later on.

 

I wouldn't allow a child to work on a middle school project for 30+ hours. It's not an efficient use of time, imo.

 

And I would encourage a child to be very happy with a grade consistently in the high 90's.

 

A teacher who never gave 100% would not bother me at all.

She gets plenty of encouragement. She's not complaining about having an A, more simply noticing a pattern. If I do really well on this assignment, my participation grade drops. If I do well, but not super well, my participation grade rises.

 

Allowing a 14year old to manage their time, when the other studies aren't suffering is not an issue. I wouldn't have done it (especially given the overall circumstances with the grading policy. What's the point? If it always averages out to a 96 anyway.) I'm certainly not going to punish her for spending extra time she feels is necessary on a project. I expressed my opinion on how much time she was taking, and was irritated -- but not quite sure how you can ban effort. And had she gotten a lower grade on the assignment or stuttered through her presentation? I don't think I would have heard the end of it.

 

In the long term, that grade won't matter. Much like her PE grade, where she's graded on everything from her food logs, to exercise logs, quizzes on rules of the games, to how well she can throw a basketball or hit a softball. There have been plenty of opportunities for her to learn that not being the best or getting a 100 is okay. She's not throwing hissy fits. I am...haha.

 

I find the manipulated grades ridiculous. I find them demotivating. I have no problem with a high bar, making students reach for that bar. I have a problem with setting the bar high, a student reaching it, and then dinging them to ensure they never get above a pre-determined level.

 

She received a 100 on that presentation, that was her official grade. He knocked her overall grade back down by lowering her participation grade. She earned a 100% on an objective test (vs. An essay test). Which was entered as a 95% for HER. Had she had an 85% in the course overall, instead of a 96%, she would have been allowed to keep her 100% on the test, plus the extra credit. He only knows knocks down the top students.

 

He gives 100s. Whether or not they will favorably increase your grade is determined by your current grade. Have a high grade? No. Have a low grade, yes. It's making the taller people a bit shorter by sawing off a bit of their legs. That way no one is taller than anyone else, and especially him.

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This just gets better and better. :thumbdown:

 

So, it's bad enough that she earns a 100%, and it's entered as a 95% -- but apparently now, he is re-adjusting older grades too.  No grade is safe in the teacher's on-going quest to massage the final outcome.  So, as she does better this semester, he's changing some of her grades from earlier in the semester to be lower. Then adjusting the participation grades to balance the changes to the quiz/homework/test grades.   :svengo:

 

She still has a 96% in the course.

 

Frankly, this teacher has way too much time on his hands to be going back through the online grade-book re-adjusting everyone's grades (I'm assuming he's not just singling out dd for this exercise).  It's kind of laughable.  His grades are completely meaningless at this point.  Except for the kid with the 22%...that was totally earned (not turning in work, never did the final project, etc.)

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This just gets better and better. :thumbdown:

 

So, it's bad enough that she earns a 100%, and it's entered as a 95% -- but apparently now, he is re-adjusting older grades too.  No grade is safe in the teacher's on-going quest to massage the final outcome.  So, as she does better this semester, he's changing some of her grades from earlier in the semester to be lower. Then adjusting the participation grades to balance the changes to the quiz/homework/test grades.   :svengo:

 

She still has a 96% in the course.

 

Frankly, this teacher has way too much time on his hands to be going back through the online grade-book re-adjusting everyone's grades (I'm assuming he's not just singling out dd for this exercise).  It's kind of laughable.  His grades are completely meaningless at this point.  Except for the kid with the 22%...that was totally earned (not turning in work, never did the final project, etc.)

Wow. You don't happen to have screen shots, do you?

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