Failing Students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Dec 22, 2018

    How many students do you generally have failing your class?

    I currently have four F’s out of 95 students. Some of these students have F’s in other classes.

    However, when I grade the tests, I’m pretty sure that I will have about 7 F’s (not including failure due to absence.) My mentor told me to try not to let it get over four F’s. My school does not like seeing failing grades.

    My concern is that the students with F’s show a severe lack of understanding of the material. It really wouldn’t make sense for these kids to pass this quarter. When I check grades for other classes, I see that some of the students who are failing my class are failing other classes too. However, some of them are doing ok in their other classes. I think some classes are easier than others though. (One of the science teachers counts tests as only 15%, so I see kids who are failing her tests have B’s in the class. The other science teacher seems more rigorous and has more failures than me out of the kids we teach.) I’m concerned that I’ll be blamed if I have too many failures but I’m not sure what to do from here! The issue with math is that I have some kids who do complete assignments but it’s incorrect, which is the reason that they have F’s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Dec 22, 2018

    I currently teach pre-calc and calc so my students rarely fail for the quarter---they just drop to the lower level course options within the first month or so instead once they start bombing the first couple of quizzes/tests. When I used to teach algebra/geometry, I would generally have around 5-6 out of around 120 or so fail each quarter. Only one or two of those would end up failing for the whole year. I also teach in an affluent district, where parents are willing to shell out big bucks for tutors if necessary. (Sometimes even when it isn't really necessary...)

    What you are mentioning with the science department in your school is why I am in favor of common grading and common assessments. In my math department, all CP courses weight 80% tests and quizzes/20% classwork and homework. All honors and AP courses weight 100% tests and quizzes/0% classwork and homework [it's just expected you do the classwork and homework to do well on the tests and quizzes]. We also give the same tests and quizzes, and meet in PLCs to discuss how we are going to grade these assessments, and we teach using generally the same handouts and materials etc (though we can tweak these if we'd like). This helps ensure that an A in one teacher's class matches an A in another's, and that students have the same preparation for the next level.

    Do you follow a similar grading structure to other members in your department?
     
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  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Dec 23, 2018

    ^
    There is only one other teacher in my department and we use similar materials but a different grading structure. She teaches inclusion and I teach gen ed so it’s the same class. Tests/Quizzes count more for her than they do for me. My breakdown is 40% classwork, 5% hw, 55% assessments. I would have more failures if I weighted more towards assessments which is why I chose this breakdown. My breakdown this year slightly inflated grades of very low kids but it doesn’t change the grades of the medium-high kids. I use a ton of exit tickets which is the majority of classwork.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Dec 23, 2018

    To add on, I teach the lower kids in my school who are not on IEPs. My highest class has mostly A’s and B’s and one F from a student who is failing all of her classes.

    Out of my current F’s, two of the students are failing everything while 3 of them are only failing my class.
     
  6. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Dec 23, 2018

    I usually have a couple students who fail multiple subjects in my classroom. Do note that I will never fail a student, if the student is putting forth good effort.
     
  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    It's too bad your grades are meaningless.....
     
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  8. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Agreed, one of my students has a 57% and probably deserves a lower grade but he tries really hard. I still don’t think it’s right for him to pass if he doesn’t learn the content.
     
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  9. 2ndTimeAround

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    Dec 23, 2018


    Too many teachers feel this way, which is why grade inflation is the way it is. Kids know that they won't fail as long as they look as though they are trying.

    I have had as many as 50% of my students fail my class. Not just the quarter. I don't love it, but I try hard to make sure that my grades show mastery. You won't find me giving students 100s for test grades because they were able to keep all of the worksheets I passed out in their notebooks.
     
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  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Dec 23, 2018

    I agree but it also has to do with school culture. My school is similar to the OP's in that the school really dislikes D's and F's on report cards. Without everyone using an agreed upon policy and grading system, it's hard to be the "tough" teacher. Many teachers at my school give grade inflating assignments or give out the exact test as a study guide. Then they'll allow test corrections, or the test will purposely be modified/made to be easier. I consider my grading practices quite fair, maybe even on the lenient side, but even so I'm probably the harshest grader in my grade level. It's frustrating. One teacher I work with specifically says he/she doesn't give low grades because it means parents will complain.
     
  11. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Dec 24, 2018

    Iunno I think I flunked like 8 juniors this semester. I don't really count and don't take credit for flunking them. As I say, I don't give grades. I record.
     
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  12. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 24, 2018

    This is how teachers "give" grades rather than record. While they can claim they record them, the fact is they are creating an environment where students aren't being assessed properly to indicate mastery of the standards.
     
  13. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    How is that my fault when they A) refuse to come to class, B) refuse to turn anything in, and C) when they do turn something in, it only has their name on it. All of which apply to everyone I flunked this semester. Please explain to me how that is my fault. I will wait.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Dec 24, 2018

    I didn't say it was your fault. I showed an example about how a teacher can "give" grades. There was no more to it than that.
     
  15. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Dec 24, 2018

    No, you assumed something about someone else that you knew nothing of the situation.

    But you have a merry Christmas or any other holiday(s) you celebrate
     
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  16. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Dec 24, 2018

    I definitely dislike the fact that grading is a waste of time in my classroom. However (for my students), when we are looking to see their progress, we rarely look at their report card grades. We look at the data collected, benchmark assessments, and notations.
     

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