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How many would change grades issued by outsourced provider?


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I know there have been discussions here where this comes up tangentially, and I know that some people will not want to admit if they would do this frequently.

 

But I was wondering, are there circumstances where you would modify a grade given by someone else?

 

I have always looked at it as though we sign up for the whole package and take what we get. If it looks like things are going south I think we would drop a class before the semester and switch to something else rather than continue a bad fit and then change the grade. But after a few different experiences in different classes where I see things like kids not participating in group work, or very low grades on tests (where the teacher shares the range and average), it makes me wonder whether all provider grades will be reported on transcripts as is, or whether parents provide other opportunities to master the material and bring grades up. I also wonder whether some parents do not care if their child does the group work and recalculates the grade without it (I don’t understand doing this as it affects other students). Or recalculates the grade without a participation component, if their child masters the material but doesn’t participate in class (I can actually understand this one, though I haven’t changed any grades, in a case where a low participation grade in math or English ends up bringing the grade down a letter grade. Isn’t the point to learn the material, not to subjectively make an impression on the teacher?)

 

I think if my child was getting a C in a class in high school, I would want to make sure they mastered the material better than the grade indicated. But what grade would be recorded then?

 

If you used the classes more as a resource but taught to mastery and then awarded a grade accordingly, is that something you would lay out in your school profile? Do you think colleges would look at such grades differently then a transcript and course descriptions in which it was more clear that students receive the grade that the outside provider assigns?

Edited by Penelope
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I haven't done this, but under certain circumstances, I'd consider it.

 

I remember one example of a provider who didn't ever record a grade for an assignment completed on time for some unknown reason (this provider is known for lapses like this - but it usually gets taken care of before the grade is locked in) even though the kid (and sometimes the parent repeatedly emailed). I'd say that it is right for the parent to put that grade into the spreadsheet and recalculate the final grade.

 

I can't think of other situations right now. When I outsource, I expect my kid to do all the work in the class and take the consequences if not. I can't imagine changing a grade if my kid just didn't do the work. I'm my kids' hardest grader - as a couple of home classes have the lowest grades on eldest's transcript. (She works harder in her outsourced classes!)

Edited by RootAnn
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Only under very specific circumstances would I consider changing the grade.  If the class was truly awful from the get go I would prefer to simply withdraw my child from the class (but would try to work with the student/teacher first to see where the disconnect is and if it can be addressed).

 

An exception would be if my child is getting no feedback, the teacher keeps losing assignments and not giving any credit to assignments that were definitely turned in, and the teacher gives a really bad grade at the end with no warning and no justification then yes, I am changing the grade to something that would more accurately reflect their work/participation but only if I felt my child learned what they were supposed to learn in that class and they were doing everything required of them. 

 

However, I could only see this happening with a single semester class.  If it were a full year class I would probably pull them mid-term if these were the circumstances we were dealing with.  I sign my children up for certain outsourced classes specifically to get feedback from an outside source.  If they aren't providing any feedback and don't seem to be able to keep up with grading and keeping track of turned in assignments then they are of no use to me or to my student.  I get that sometimes things happen.  I'm not talking about once in a while.  I'm talking about consistent, chronic errors and no feedback.  Even then, if my child were really loving the class and seemed to be getting something from the instruction and the interaction with classmates I would probably keep them in and continue to try and work with the teacher.  At the end, though, if I felt my child had done everything required, had worked hard, had learned the material, had met participation requirements, and had met the deadlines and turned in quality work but the teacher was incapable of actually keeping up with the grades and wrongfully assigned a poor grade even if I tried discussing the issue several times then yes, I would seriously consider changing it or not putting the class on the transcript.  And I would definitely file a complaint.

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I have never changed a grade assigned by an outside provider. However, I have dropped classes that I thought contained too much busywork factored into the class that didn't add anything to my kids' understanding of the material. If I hadn't have been able to teach those dropped classes myself, I may have considered recalculating the assigned grade with those busy work project grades omitted from the calculations. However, I would have made it clear on the transcript that the grade was a homeschool assigned grade.

 

I have heard of people changing an outside provider grade based on the corresponding AP results (in both directions).

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My dc aren't in high school yet, so it is an interesting theoretical topic to explore.

 

I've never heard anyone hesitate to modify a print curriculum to suit their needs, is the difference here the addition of a live teacher?

 

I've brushed up to this when we tried out an online foreign language provider last summer. It did not seem likely to me that if my dc were in that class they would need to spend 180 hours to complete the assigned work. However, I think real learning in a foreign language requires at least that much time during the school year. I expected that it would fall on me to keep up with their progress and assign or design additional work for my dc. Grading could get tricky if my dc are not good test takers and don't maintain an "A" average, but are doing significant work outside of the class.

Edited by SusanC
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As a provider it is frustrating when grades reported to ME are not valid...

 

I require a B or better in the previous level... each year I get a few students where the parent changed a low grade of C (or worse) into a B or even an A because dc "worked so hard" and 'public schools give tons of extra credit'...  it gets frustrating when Algebra 1 students can't multiply or do long division...

 

I have students who are consistently scoring low B's on tests and quizzes--- parents want to know what sort of extra credit I can offer so dc can make an A... 

Uh, their student is NOT an A student if they are not making A's.  Nothing wrong with being a solid B student, if that is where dc is at.

 

 

 

 

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My dc aren't in high school yet, so it is an interesting theoretical topic to explore.

 

I've never heard anyone hesitate to modify a print curriculum to suit their needs, is the difference here the addition of a live teacher?

 

I've brushed up to this when we tried out an online foreign language provider last summer. It did not seem likely to me that if my dc were in that class they would need to spend 180 hours to complete the assigned work. However, I think real learning in a foreign language requires at least that much time during the school year. I expected that it would fall on me to keep up with their progress and assign or design additional work for my dc. Grading could get tricky if my dc are not good test takers and don't maintain an "A" average, but are doing significant work outside of the class.

 

Honestly, I think this would primarily apply to having a live teacher (on-line or in person) and mostly at the Middle/High School levels.  If I have purchased a print curriculum to use with my child and I am the teacher and I am determining what of that print curriculum I am using then I am the one issuing the grade based on my criteria.  If I have signed up my child for someone else's class and they are choosing the materials and how it is presented and how assignments are handled then they are the ones determining the criteria for the grades issued in that classroom. 

 

I think it is beneficial to students to realize that different teachers are going to require/expect different things.  Even DD's literature professor has been very clear that she prefers certain writing styles over others for assignments but other teachers they may encounter later on might prefer something else.  Teaching is kind of an art form.  Not everyone is going to have the same way of doing things.

 

Now if I have signed my child up for a casual "for fun" supplemental class my child is taking in addition to something I am teaching them then I would probably approach the grade a bit differently.  It might not go on the transcript or I might roll it into the overall grade for that subject that I am providing the majority of the instruction for.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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As a provider it is frustrating when grades reported to ME are not valid...

 

I require a B or better in the previous level... each year I get a few students where the parent changed a low grade of C (or worse) into a B or even an A because dc "worked so hard" and 'public schools give tons of extra credit'...  it gets frustrating when Algebra 1 students can't multiply or do long division...

 

I have students who are consistently scoring low B's on tests and quizzes--- parents want to know what sort of extra credit I can offer so dc can make an A... 

Uh, their student is NOT an A student if they are not making A's.  Nothing wrong with being a solid B student, if that is where dc is at.

Which makes perfect sense...

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We are not to this point yet because I don't have high schoolers or anyone in a class with a grade, but I have "heard" of parents' changing the grades given in a co-op class or in a live/online class before. I have never pushed to learn the specific reasons. The one time I did teach a graded class I was very specific on requirements and assignments and communicated every week what items were due. If someone had changed the grade I had put forward in that class, it would have felt a bit like an insult to the time I put in.

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Now if I have signed my child up for a casual "for fun" supplemental class my child is taking in addition to something I am teaching them then I would probably approach the grade a bit differently. It might not go on the transcript or I might roll it into the overall grade for that subject that I am providing the majority of the instruction for.

All of my oldest outsourced classes fall under the satisfy social outlet needs category. For high school subjects done in 7th and 8th grades, I am only listing his AP exam and SAT subject test scores as we are doing high school credit by exam route. For 9th grade, if he is still homeschooling, we would likely do a mommy grade for outsourced classes because we supplement a lot and then just list the outsourced class as part of the resources used for that subject.

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I have always used the provider grades. However, in one case for a semester course the teacher gave no feedback nor grades and the first 8 weeks there was very little work required. So we only used the course for what little we could get out of it and I gave other work and gave my own grade. I told the teacher not to bother with a grade.

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I have always said I would change a grade if necessary but I have yet to do it (three of my dc have completed probably around 40 online classes and they have not gotten all As so the fact that i have never done it shows the bar is high).

 

Some circumstances that have come up that I have considered changing it:

 

1) ds submitted a paper to an online teacher and got a good grade. I've seen the paper and the feedback. For some reason this is recorded as a zero in the online portal. We've contacted the teacher and it hasn't been changed. Teacher is great otherwise so I'm not complaining and I really have no interest in harassing a teacher over this little detail. If this one incorrect grade makes his final grade lower than it should be I will change it. No problem. I figure the teacher will likely catch the error or the one grade will not result in enough of a deduction to change a final letter grade so it probably will not even matter. But if an unearned zero drops a grade from an A to a B, I will change it for sure.

 

2) ds did poorly on the first test of a course and received a very low grade. There was no opportunity for extra credit or to retake/re-earn points, etc. I made ds go back and redo all the homework for the material covered on the first test. I made him review every quiz explaining his answers orally to prove he knew it and didn't just guess or look up answers. I then allowed him to take the test again orally- explaining every single answer, not just the ones he missed. I told him if he did all that work and learned it I would replace his test grade for the first test. The point was for him to actually learn, not just be punished by a bad test grade. But I did not change the semester grade because this correction got him back on track and he went forward to improve his grade the old fashioned way and I didn't need to follow through making an adjustment. However, that bit of grace that the grade could be recovered got him back on track.

 

3) ds is currently in a rigorous online class he is doing extremely well in. I am very pleased with is work. Due to an error in scheduling on my part he is committed to take a group trip the week of the final exam. The trip will be more beneficial than the exam. I will see if the teacher can work with us and allow him to take the exam early or late or to complete an alternative assessment. If the teacher will not work with us he will take a zero on the exam and I will assign a grade myself. I told him when we discovered the issue that if he does an excellent job and has an A going into the final I will give him an A. In high school and college it is not unheard of for A students to be exempt from the final and that is what this situation would be for me. It is not my first choice method to handle the issue but I would do it.

 

I have found things usually work themselves out and no change is necessary. If the student does poorly on something but then backtracks and actually learns it, that is generally reflected in a final grade and no change is necessary. Sometimes the carrot of extra credit makes the extra work easier to stomach. But extra credit "just because"? I would never do that.

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Honestly, I wouldn't have any problem about putting a grade of C on my student's transcript if I felt they earned that grade. I definitely wouldn't change an outsourced class grade if the provider does any kind of transcript (like a high school or a dual enrollment class). In a once-a-week co-op type of class, it might depend on whether I was doing a significant part of the teaching and tutoring or if I was completely hands off. If I'm not teaching it, why should I provide opportunities for raising a grade? OTOH, if I'm significantly involved, why should the co-op teacher provide a grade, other than for the assignments turned in? I would think that kind of thing would be clear from the start of class though. 

 

I'd want a really good reason to consider staying enrolled and changing a grade versus just withdrawing my student from the course. There were some interesting scenarios above! 

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My dc aren't in high school yet, so it is an interesting theoretical topic to explore.

 

I've never heard anyone hesitate to modify a print curriculum to suit their needs, is the difference here the addition of a live teacher?

 

I think so. I think the difference is also that a high school record is something that must usually satisfy certain requirements, and often you are presenting that record to an outside entity (a college or trade school) in an official capacity.

 

I think it’s tricky in some cases. I can imagine co-op situations in particular where the grade received in the class is only part of the entire credit, but that would be clear in the course descriptions. Or maybe I just do co-op science for the group lab experience, but require more advanced materials at home. Maybe co-op also might be different for some because in some co-ops, most of the classes are taught or facilitated by regular parents who don’t necessarily know the subject well or might not have experience with high schoolers other than their own, so there could occasionally be issues.

 

But in the case of online courses (and probably many in-person as well), if I am going to trust an experienced classroom teacher to teach my student for a particular subject, I should also be able to trust in their ability to accurately assess my student. Honestly, with the plethora of outside courses available, if I were only concerned about the grade I could always find a course that seems less demanding.

 

But I think opinions vary about this.

Edited by Penelope
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If I were using the class as part of a credit, then I'd weight it as the part of the credit I intended to use it as and change the overall grade for the course accordingly. But I wouldn't list that credit as "English 1 from Provider A" - I'd list it as English 1 and in the course description include an explanation of using Provider A for x component, home-based instruction on essay writing for y component, etc.

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Well, it would depend on the class.  A CC class, no.  An unofficial "we give out grades that aren't governed by rules other than the ones we set ourselves arbitrarily" probably I would just not include it on the transcript if I thought it would be a problem.  Or maybe I'd change the terminology like say "satisfactory" rather than "C".   The situation would have to be pretty extreme though.  Like Iif  thought my kid was treated very unfairly or the teacher was every unprofessional. 

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But in the case of online courses (and probably many in-person as well), if I am going to trust an experienced classroom teacher to teach my student for a particular subject, I should also be able to trust in their ability to accurately assess my student. Honestly, with the plethora of outside courses available, if I were only concerned about the grade I could always find a course that seems less demanding.

The Edhesive AP Computer Science A course did not have a teacher component, as in everything was graded automatically by the system. I see it as the equivalent of a MOOC except that I did pay a per student fee to use the online course, maybe more like a paid Udemy, EdX course. I would have no issue with stating the course as a resource used combined with lots of other resources to fulfill an elective credit. My kids’ AP Computer Science A exam scores should be sufficient validation but I would have no problems with writing up a course description for my kids if asked.

 

My oldest is concern about the grade. That is why he is not willing to go for dual enrollment yet. He wants to go for “less boring, more challenging†courses but does not want to end up with permanent Bs on community college records instead of As because he chose a “harder†course. That is why he is going for courses that are not official right now so that we can have some flexibility in whether to count those as enrichment or part of a credit.

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This is a scenario I came across this year in a graded lab at our co-op:

 

I am assisting in a high school chemistry lab at co-op. The kids were assigned a lab report--this was their second one--and were given two weeks to complete it.  They were given a detailed rubric of all that was required in the report. During the first week they were allowed to send the draft lab report to the teacher for feedback. Two or three students did this, and made some significant changes to their lab report as a result. The other three students did not, and one of them got a failing grade (under 40%).  I asked the teacher (out of curiousity, because as I stated upthread, mine are not this age yet) if she would allow the student to revise the report and turn it back in. She said no, because she offered that week of time for feedback. I agree with her. I think this is a reasonable approach. And, if that particular parent decided to change that person's grade, I would feel they were doing their child a disservice.  I see the low grade as a natural consequence for not seeking help when the child clearly didn't understand what he/she needed to do and/or did not follow the rubric.

 

Incidentally, it was mentioned upthread about a co-op teacher possibly not being qualified. In this instance, the teacher is a chemist, so that is not the case.

 

 

Edited by cintinative
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This is a scenario I came across this year in a graded lab at our co-op:

 

I am assisting in a high school chemistry lab at co-op. The kids were assigned a lab report--this was their second one--and were given two weeks to complete it.  They were given a detailed rubric of all that was required in the report. During the first week they were allowed to send the draft lab report to the teacher for feedback. Two or three students did this, and made some significant changes to their lab report as a result. The other three students did not, and one of them got a failing grade (under 40%).  I asked the teacher (out of curiousity, because as I stated upthread, mine are not this age yet) if she would allow the student to revise the report and turn it back in. She said no, because she offered that week of time for feedback. I agree with her. I think this is a reasonable approach. And, if that particular parent decided to change that person's grade, I would feel they were doing their child a disservice.  I see the low grade as a natural consequence for not seeking help when the child clearly didn't understand what he/she needed to do and/or did not follow the rubric.

 

Incidentally, it was mentioned upthread about a co-op teacher possibly not being qualified. In this instance, the teacher is a chemist, so that is not the case.

 

 

I mean, I agree with you, and I wouldn't personally change the  grade.

 

But if you are using the course as part of a way to teach your kid chemistry, and for you, work is not done or officially, finally graded until it has been revised to mastery, I can see asking for a copy of the rubric, having your kid redo the lab until it is sufficient, and changing the grade accordingly in your own system.  In this case, you'd just be saying, look, I'm using this co-op's lab and direct teaching and groupwork, but the course and responsibility for determining how well my kid learns the material itself is ultimately mine; for my kid, a 40% is not a final grade because the way I fundamentally believe grades should work and what they should measure is different from what this co-op thinks they should measure - I think they should measure mastery of the material, however long or however many iterations it takes, and the co-op thinks they should measure mastery of the material within a certain time frame or within certain structural guidelines.  

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I mean, I agree with you, and I wouldn't personally change the  grade.

 

But if you are using the course as part of a way to teach your kid chemistry, and for you, work is not done or officially, finally graded until it has been revised to mastery, I can see asking for a copy of the rubric, having your kid redo the lab until it is sufficient, and changing the grade accordingly in your own system.  In this case, you'd just be saying, look, I'm using this co-op's lab and direct teaching and groupwork, but the course and responsibility for determining how well my kid learns the material itself is ultimately mine; for my kid, a 40% is not a final grade because the way I fundamentally believe grades should work and what they should measure is different from what this co-op thinks they should measure - I think they should measure mastery of the material, however long or however many iterations it takes, and the co-op thinks they should measure mastery of the material within a certain time frame or within certain structural guidelines.  

 

 

What if your child was lazy and that is why they got the poor grade? Would you still let them revise it? I'm really curious about how people handle this.  (To be clear: all students had a copy of the rubric and an example lab report to use for reference).

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I did this one time, but it was actually discussed with the teacher before the class even started.   My dyslexic student was taking an English class.  In going over the syllabus, I knew he could handle every component except the vocabulary material they were using.  I discussed it with the teacher ahead of time.  He did the vocabulary work assigned in the class, so as not to disrupt class time by being the only one who didn't participate during that time.  So he "took" the quizzes, etc when they had them.  It was really a small portion of the class anyway.  But at the end of the term, the teacher gave out the grades.  It was clearly listed what each component's average was (vocabulary, composition, literature, grammar) and what weight was assigned to that component.  I simply took out the vocabulary portion and weighted the rest to compensate for the portion that was removed. It was planned before the class was started, so I don't feel bad about this.

 

I would not change a grade under most circumstances. 

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What if your child was lazy and that is why they got the poor grade? Would you still let them revise it? I'm really curious about how people handle this.  (To be clear: all students had a copy of the rubric and an example lab report to use for reference).

Not who it is directed to but I can see this scenario playing out. In my world if I allowed the student to redo the lab report to replace the grade I would likely make it painful. Such that the student would learn that it is easier to do it right the first time. So i would add a couple extra questions or require answers that were just phrases to be written out in fully explained paragraphs. The goal here isn't to bump up the grade. For me there are two goals. One is to make sure the material is actually mastered. While a 40% grade might teach a lesson regarding responsibility, I still want my kid to learn the material. The other lesson I would seek to teach is that digging out of the hole of poor work is harder than doing it right the first time.

 

I also would likely make the redo worth less than 100%. So even a perfect redo would have some penalty.

 

To be clear- I have not had this scenario but it is possible with the way I outsource classes. Some variation of this is how I would handle a redo of a grade. Whether or not the redo was allowed by me would be wholly dependent on the circumstances.

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What if your child was lazy and that is why they got the poor grade? Would you still let them revise it? I'm really curious about how people handle this.  (To be clear: all students had a copy of the rubric and an example lab report to use for reference).

 

 

For me, with NT kids who do not have learning disabilities, I would just go with the provider's grade.

 

But if my philosophy said that executive function skills were not a proper part of an academic grade - that laziness or forgetfulness or carelessness were not the things I wanted the course to grade, only mastery of the material - then I don't see why I'd care why the kid didn't get it done in a certain time frame or in a certain way the first time, because the thing I would be seeking to measure wouldn't be whether he could get it done in a certain time but whether eventually it was done correctly (or to what extent it was done correctly).

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I mean, I agree with you, and I wouldn't personally change the  grade.

 

But if you are using the course as part of a way to teach your kid chemistry, and for you, work is not done or officially, finally graded until it has been revised to mastery, I can see asking for a copy of the rubric, having your kid redo the lab until it is sufficient, and changing the grade accordingly in your own system.  In this case, you'd just be saying, look, I'm using this co-op's lab and direct teaching and groupwork, but the course and responsibility for determining how well my kid learns the material itself is ultimately mine; for my kid, a 40% is not a final grade because the way I fundamentally believe grades should work and what they should measure is different from what this co-op thinks they should measure - I think they should measure mastery of the material, however long or however many iterations it takes, and the co-op thinks they should measure mastery of the material within a certain time frame or within certain structural guidelines.  

 

 

What if your child was lazy and that is why they got the poor grade? Would you still let them revise it? I'm really curious about how people handle this.  (To be clear: all students had a copy of the rubric and an example lab report to use for reference).

 

I last taught in a coop a few years back.  I had two students who did not complete assignments, did not take advantage of the option to have rough drafts critiqued, did not take advantage of the option to revise and resubmit after work was graded and copiously annotated (one turned in a "revision" that didn't even make the corrections in grammar and punctuation that I'd marked on his previous version), did not complete readings on time, did plagiarize work on projects (very evidently copied from the internet), and otherwise did much less than just not performing to an A level standard.  Had I given out grades, these students would have earned Ds.  All of the other students earned As and Bs in the class.  Instead of providing a letter grade, I gave out a detailed course summary that listed each assignment and the points earned for each one.  I provided a couple grading schemes for how to use the summary to calculate a course grade.  I also gave a course description and list of works used.

 

During the period of this coop the students in question were able to participate fully in sports team practices and games and in multiple musical theater shows.

 

The following year I taught a class that focused on group projects like mock court, mock Congress and other government simulations.  I told the coop organizer that one of the 2 students would not be a good match for the course.  The 2nd student did sign up.  When I assigned roles in the simulations, I gave him things that wouldn't hurt the other students if he didn't come prepared.  Which was good, because he failed to complete most of the projects.  

 

I haven't taught a coop since.

 

 

If I were to teach a course again, I would probably be very clear if I was grading work or not.  If I were going to take the time to grade the assignments, then I would also assign a course grade.  I have somewhat regretted not marking these students with the low grades they earned.  I can't control what goes on the transcript.  

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I last taught in a coop a few years back.  I had two students who did not complete assignments, did not take advantage of the option to have rough drafts critiqued, did not take advantage of the option to revise and resubmit after work was graded and copiously annotated (one turned in a "revision" that didn't even make the corrections in grammar and punctuation that I'd marked on his previous version), did not complete readings on time, did plagiarize work on projects (very evidently copied from the internet), and otherwise did much less than just not performing to an A level standard.  Had I given out grades, these students would have earned Ds.  All of the other students earned As and Bs in the class.  Instead of providing a letter grade, I gave out a detailed course summary that listed each assignment and the points earned for each one.  I provided a couple grading schemes for how to use the summary to calculate a course grade.  I also gave a course description and list of works used.

 

 

I am so sorry you had this experience but I can totally see this happening. I don't believe grades were changed after the fact but I know that we have had some kids flunk co-op classes (high school level) due to lack of work, and it certainly wasn't because the teacher didn't try her hardest to allow them to remediate their grade.

 

If I had a class where someone plagarized, I believe that would go against our co-op code of conduct and the child would be removed from the class, if not the co-op altogether.  Now I need to go and ask how exactly we handle that, if it ever happens.  Someone I know recently dealt with this in a public school setting, but I have never asked about it.

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If I had a class where someone plagarized, I believe that would go against our co-op code of conduct and the child would be removed from the class, if not the co-op altogether.  Now I need to go and ask how exactly we handle that, if it ever happens.  Someone I know recently dealt with this in a public school setting, but I have never asked about it.

 

I'd probably give a first-time offender a zero (possibly with a chance to resubmit) and bring it to the parent's attention. If the parents (and the class) haven't taught about plagiarism and how to avoid it yet, it's really not the student's fault. 

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I am so sorry you had this experience but I can totally see this happening. I don't believe grades were changed after the fact but I know that we have had some kids flunk co-op classes (high school level) due to lack of work, and it certainly wasn't because the teacher didn't try her hardest to allow them to remediate their grade.

 

If I had a class where someone plagarized, I believe that would go against our co-op code of conduct and the child would be removed from the class, if not the co-op altogether.  Now I need to go and ask how exactly we handle that, if it ever happens.  Someone I know recently dealt with this in a public school setting, but I have never asked about it.

 

 

I'd probably give a first-time offender a zero (possibly with a chance to resubmit) and bring it to the parent's attention. If the parents (and the class) haven't taught about plagiarism and how to avoid it yet, it's really not the student's fault. 

 

Plagarism - If I were teaching the course again, I would do more overt instruction about plagiarism.  I did discuss the issue with the parent.  I do think that 8-9th grade (as this class was) is a time to learn how to credit work properly, not be hammered for a misunderstanding.

 

One other lesson learned from the course is that I probably would not do extra credit again.  The students who completed extra credit assignments were already high performers.  For the borderline students, I think the lure of extra credit was a distraction from doing the core assignments in a full hearted manner.  I think there may have been an attitude that they could just submit something slapdash and make it lost points with some extra credit done later.  

 

 

I can see situations in which changing an outside grade would be appropriate.  One reason I ended up providing a performance summary rather than a letter grade is that I learned late in the year that one of the low performing students was also enrolled as a full time student in another program (perhaps a home study charter school, it was unclear).  The coop had not been specific if the class I was teaching was intended to be supplemental, elective, or serve as the main course for that subject.  Given the lack of specificity, I didn't like giving a low grade.  I also think there are situations where a family signs up, thinking they have a good fit, only to find that the course is above or below the level of instruction needed.  Teachers can be less than responsive or base course grades heavily on non-core items (like basing a significant part of a language grade on cooking a meal from the region of the language).

 

What I do think is important is if you are considering an outsourced course as part of the home-based grade, that you are up front about that in your course description.  What I don't think is appropriate is to change the grade and not explain.  The more formal the outsourced instruction, the more hesitant I'd be about grade changes.  Probably the last I'd change would be DE courses from a college.  Subsequent college applications typically ask for students to list all colleges attended and to provide official transcripts (ie, sent from the college directly).  I think it could pose a concern for admissions if they get a college transcript that says a course grade was a C and the homeschool transcript records it as a higher grade.

 

For informal coop classes, I think there is much more freedom to consider the course in light of other work done in the topic.  Other outside providers fall somewhere between.  

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I seem to have opened a pandora's box because others on my co-op board do not think we need an honesty (no cheating/no plagiarism) policy. Primarily we are an enrichment co-op.  I am just feeling concern for the mom who is pouring her time and energy unpaid into an academic class (because we do have some) and is forced to deal with honesty issues in the absence of a formal policy. It's probably my high sense of justice that is throwing off how I view it, but it is hard enough (thankless enough?) to teach a high school class unpaid, but to do so and also have to navigate this with parents that may or may not do anything--- I don't know--that really scares me.  If I believed all parents were engaged, interested, and observant of their children's education at the high school level, I would feel differently, but that has not been my observation, at least not at the co-op I am in.

 

 

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I haven't read all the responses.  I would be fine changing a grade if the course was just a subsection of something we were using to cover a subject.  Other than that, the course would have had to be completely ridiculous for me to think about changing it and we probably would have just dropped it and moved on if that was the case.  My kids have only received A's in out sourced courses at the high school level anyway so it hasn't been an issue. 

 

ETA - I do know plenty of parental involvement in calling teachers to "fix" grades at the end of the semester in our district and I even know one kid who went to Harvard after having "fixed" grades.  So meh, I guess I really am not super concerned about people who do grades differently.  SWB posted this article a while back on FB about suburban school grade inflation.  And I'm in an urban district and see it in the more affluent neighborhoods as well.

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/08/suburban-grade-inflation/536595/?utm_source=nl-atlantic-daily-082117

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I seem to have opened a pandora's box because others on my co-op board do not think we need an honesty (no cheating/no plagiarism) policy. Primarily we are an enrichment co-op.  I am just feeling concern for the mom who is pouring her time and energy unpaid into an academic class (because we do have some) and is forced to deal with honesty issues in the absence of a formal policy. It's probably my high sense of justice that is throwing off how I view it, but it is hard enough (thankless enough?) to teach a high school class unpaid, but to do so and also have to navigate this with parents that may or may not do anything--- I don't know--that really scares me.  If I believed all parents were engaged, interested, and observant of their children's education at the high school level, I would feel differently, but that has not been my observation, at least not at the co-op I am in.

 

Our co-op is considered elective-based, but a couple of years ago we started offering a few high school academic options. These classes meet an additional day each week, have assignments/grades issued by the teacher, and require an additional signed commitment for the families involved. They know ahead of time the expectations are different, and they know if they don't uphold their commitment they will be asked to leave the class. It's not fair to the teachers or the other students otherwise. Perhaps your co-op board would be willing to consider a separate agreement for classes that are more academic, to be fair to all.

 

That said, in relation the original question: our co-op also makes it clear that the parent remains the final authority on grading, and that, as we are not a school in any official capacity, our grades are not certified or official. As a parent, I take the teacher grade as is, but I wouldn't hesitate to adapt the grade as needed if I felt doing so better reflected my child's performance. As a teacher, I have encouraged parents to take this approach as well.

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For outsourced online classes, it is possible that I would.  For instance, my dd sent a project that the teacher couldn't hear and asked her to send via e-mail, but the teacher didn't get to it to grade it so she still has a 0.  The teacher is on it this week and I think that it will be worked out, but if for some reason it's not, I would regrade (it lowers her grade from a 99 to an 89 b/c of the weighting of the class).

 

However, I think parents should be careful.  If you are often wanting to change an outsourced child's grade for missed homework, projects not done to specifications, low test grades in spite of good homework, you should think about whether what you are seeing is your child's ability to manage the classes expectations and put in the work.  You should look for patterns.  If you are taking your child out of online or DE classes often bc of the "teacher" or the "teacher's expectations," you should also look for what that is telling you.

 

So, in summation, I would change an online classes grade for certain circumstances.  I would use co-op classes grades as a starting place because I often add to those classes at home and it is part of what my child does.  I might even add my dd's French conversation grade from co-op to her online class grade if she ended up on the cusp (an 89 for instance).  But if I started wanting to do it often, it would make me hesitate and evaluate my child and my expectations.

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I've never changed a grade from an outside provider. 

If I were teaching the course myself, I would be responsible for assigning the final grade, even if I outsourced some strand of the course. I would be clear in my school profile (where it asks how grades were assigned) and/or in my course description that I, as the primary teacher, had assigned the grade.

 

I think an ethical issue comes into play when a parent changes a final grade and makes it _look like_ the outside instructor gave the student that new/changed grade when, in fact, it was the parent.

 

 

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