Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Should we use a Different Grading Scale ? Or is it that different?

I don't know why teachers at my school are suddenly talking about low grades. It is really nothing new at my school, to have a large percentage of underachieving students earning low or failing grades. Much of it is due to being in a very low, socio-economic region with a very high recent immigrant population of non-English literate people. Anyhow, I noted in a previous blog, that several are now indicating that a student is not just failing the class, they are earning an "F-". This got me to thinking some more. That might not be so good, but, in thinking back to our October conferences with parents about their child's current grades, last spring's standardized test scores and their past writing and math proficiency scores, and such, teachers were asked to show the parents where their child's standardized test "place them" in terms of being Proficient, Above Basic, Basic, Below Basic or Far Below Basic. This scale for the standardized test was about 85-70-55-45-35 percent. This scale that my district told me to use was much different from the A-B-C-D-F scale (90-80-70-60-....) we are told to use as a guide for their academic grades. What If I assigned letter grades to my students using the scale employed for the standardized tests?

There would sure be a lot fewer "F's" if a student had to be at 35% or below to earn an F grade. And, except for a few exceptions, most of those who will earn an F in my class are, for whatever reasons, "Far Below Basic". They cannot read anywhere close to grade level. They are not organized. They often make little attempt to work in class or complete homework. They have been socially promoted. They have never been held accountable or responsible for anything. In short, they are Far Below Basic.


Thanks for reading my blog! As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated!