I am a former educator and would like the opinion of another teacher. My son is in 7th grade. He came home with 6 A's and B's on his report card, plus one D. The D was a red flag to me. When I questioned the teacher, she told me it was because there were a lot of boys in that class and they are goofing off. I accepted that and had a talk with my son.
When I looked closely at his current grades online, I noticed that he had 2 F's on Vocab. units. So I looked in his book to see what he did wrong. I discovered that in one lesson he actually had a 91/98 which is a 93%. Yet her score was an 8/15, or a 53%. This made no sense to me. He only missed 7 on this lesson out of 98 problems, but he was given an F.
Her system of scoring is this: if you miss 3 on any of the 5 sections of the unit, you get no points at all. Now, the child may have gotten 17 correct out of 20, but she still gives a zero for that section. An F!! If you miss 2, you get one point. If you miss 1, you get 2 points, and if you miss zero, you get 3 points. Each section is worth 3 points and that's how she came up with her total of 15 in the paragraph above. There were 5 sections within that unit.
I understand if she wants Vocab to be worth less than other things such as tests, but you cannot give these kids zero credit when they are doing work. She can easily use the total points for the whole unit and then weigh these units within her computer system.
I am totally appalled by this system and have run this past several parents plus a former university professor. They are in agreement with me that this is outrageous. I checked with another mother and her son had all A's and B's, except for an F in this class.
I have discussed this with the teacher and she says she does this because of cheating betwteen the classes. I don't know about the other kids, but my child is not cheating on this because he does these at home. At any rate, cheating has nothing to do with giving my child an "F" when he clearly did "A" work. She also says that she has been using this system for a long time.
Well, just because it's been done forever, doesn't make it right. I don't think parents know what is going on here. It took me a while to discover it myself.
If I were to look at her bell curve in her class, the heaviest would be at the bottom. She did admit to me that all of the kids are doing poorly. That is an obvious indication to me that the teaching and/or grading methods need to be re-evaluated.
Thanks for any input you can offer. I'm not afraid to take this matter as far as it needs to go to get this changed....
Re: Grading System
With percentages like that, I'd hate to see how this person teaches math! This is definitely an issue you should take up with the school principal. I would even suggest writing the facts in a letter, and carbon copy it to the superindendant of schools. (A written letter via snail mail will get more attention than an email or phone call.) Don't be accusatory or hostile in your letter; phrase it much as you did here - you simply don't understand how 91 correct answers out of 98 could be a failing grade, and that you haven't gotten any satisfactory answers from the teacher. (To be honest, this teacher sounds like she has some sort of personal grudge or vendetta against males.)
Re: Grading System
You definitely have an issue to pursue. If her "problem" is cross-class cheating, there are ways to combat this (multiple tests could be one way).
Originally Posted by kelB
Normally as a teacher you want your mean mark to lie somewhere between 70%-75%. Radically lower results usually mean the test was too difficult, Radically higher results usually mean the test was too easy. From what you describe, the results of her grading are severely skewed to the low end. This should be a red flag to the principal of the school that something is wrong.
I would discuss this with other parents and present a joint petition to the school principal. A group of ticked-off parents is more forceful than just one.
Re: Grading System
I agree with Ouisch!
Originally Posted by Ouisch
Additionally, I suggest that this matter should be discussed with the principal and the teacher at the same conference. Make the teacher justify her grading system in front of her supervisor while you are present. I would not speak with the principal privately; the principal's response, most assuredly, will be: "I will speak with the teacher and get back to you!" Besides, speaking with the principal privately will only serve to infuriate the teacher and cause her to be more inclined to "take it out" on your son.
Keep us posted as to the outcome!