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 A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums Is it okay to not let a parent know her child failed a test?

#21
12-16-2012, 06:21 PM
 pwhatley Maven Join Date: Apr 2007 Posts: 5,083 USA 3rd Grade Teacher
I think, as a parent, grandparent, and a teacher, my personal inclination would be to try to set up a conference including the principal, possibly the counselor, and definitely the teacher. I don't mean for the teacher to be confronted - we've all been first year teachers. Instead, I think a round table discussion about what specific steps (small group work is mandatory and too generic for an intervention where I teach) can be taken on both parties' part to help your son. Personally, I HATE reduced number of test questions/problems. If the rest of the class is taking a 12-problem test, and I have to give a "lower" or "struggling" student an 8-problem test (this is hypothetical), then the value per problem is greatly increased, and the student actually has fewer opportunities for correct answers. Using this example and my district's grading scale (even 1st graders get letter grades here), here would be the differences:

On a 12-problem test, each problem is worth approximately 8 points out of 100, or 8%. The breakdown is as follows:
12/12 = 100A
11/12 = 92 B
10/12 = 83 C
9/12 = 75 C
8/12 = 67 F

On a test with 8 problems, the break down is:
8/8 = 100A
7/8 = 88 B
6/8 = 75 C
5/8 = 63 F

I have no problem at all with increased time or reading aloud, etc., but dropping the number of items on a test (when the normal number is generally low anyway) is a risky proposition, in my mind.

I'm not fussing at anyone - this is just what I have seen in my own first grade classroom.
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#22
12-16-2012, 06:31 PM
 Danny'sNanny Groupie Join Date: May 2005 Posts: 1,261 Primary Elementary Teacher
I do contact the parents of my 2nd graders if I'm concerned about their performance.

HOWEVER - I never send home tests, but do share them at conferences. Tests are usually fairly short, so a few missed problems could make a very ugly percentage grade. I feel that at the primary level, tests should mainly be for me - so I can make instructional decisions.
#23
12-16-2012, 06:59 PM
 YoungTeacherGuy Enthusiast Join Date: Oct 2007 Posts: 2,267 California Vice Principal (K-5)
I send home a progress report every other Friday. It needs to be signed and returned on Monday.
#24
12-16-2012, 07:16 PM
 ecteach Habitué Join Date: May 2012 Posts: 861
Quote:
 Originally Posted by comaba Is it possible that your son was truly approaching grade level with other, previous tests, and the latest was taken shortly before conferences?
good point.
#25
12-17-2012, 05:44 AM
 monsieurteacher Aficionado Join Date: Apr 2005 Posts: 3,355 New Brunswick, Canada A little bit of everything...
Quote:
That is assuming you use the same grading scheme... when you use a grading scheme like we use, (SA - Strong Achievement, AA - Appropriate Achievement, BAA - Below Appropriate Achievement) it is easy to tell if the student is at an appropriate level or not with just a few questions.
#26
12-17-2012, 09:08 AM
 scholarteacher Connoisseur Join Date: Nov 2008 Posts: 1,603 NC Kindergarten Teacher
I would talk directly to the teacher, not the principal. If you go over her head, she may turn on you or your child. You never know. Just tell her that you want to support her and your child be helping him specifically at home, and that you know she has X number of children to keep up with, but ask her what would be the easiest way for her to keep you posted--emails, notes, phone calls, etc. Put the ball in her court and document your contacts with her. I agree she should have let you know, but as a new teacher, she may not think of that. If you don't have any luck with that approach, then you can rethink. Hope this helps.
#27
12-17-2012, 11:51 AM
 Chrissteeena Companion Join Date: Oct 2009 Posts: 166 Iowa Social Work Student
My teachers used to send home progress reports if we weren't doing well. This was from 2nd-12th grade. I don't remember K or 1st- I was in a different school district then. In addition to the progress reports if we weren't doing well they would also call just incase they never got the report.
#28
12-17-2012, 01:52 PM
 amakaye Enthusiast Join Date: Oct 2004 Posts: 2,274 Midwest 3rd Grade--Lutheran School
Could you ask for copies of the papers to be sent home if she needs to keep the others for documentation purposes?
#29
12-17-2012, 02:26 PM
 TamiJ Virtuoso Join Date: Sep 2007 Posts: 6,206 Mexico 1st grade teacher
You absolutely should have been notified.
#30
12-17-2012, 06:31 PM
 Go Blue! Devotee Join Date: Aug 2011 Posts: 1,041 Maryland US History & World History
I guess things are different in second grade so I can't say if not telling a parent is normal.

That being said, I teach 120 6th and 7th graders. I never call home about failing grades unless I am calling about behavior and decide to mention it. I feel that between Progress Reports being issued midway through each quarter and having to update students' grades weekly in our online gradebook (that students and parents have access to), it is the child and parent's responsibility to stay up-to-date. I do not have time to babysit every single child.

 Tags child, failed, parent, test

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