changing/inflating grades for report cards

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jun 13, 2014

    Do you "bump up" a student's grade because he is a point away from the next letter grade? This seems to be common practice with some of my coworkers, but not at all with others.

    For instance, if a 90 -100 is an A and a student earns an 89, would you give him the 90 so he can have an A in the class? If so, under what circumstances?

    Grades are due soon where I work and there are always discussions about students and their grades this time of the year. I rarely change a student's grade to an A or a B. I figure if you are an A or B student, you wouldn't need the extra point. When I see that a student consistently does well but has one single low grade that brings him down, I might exempt that grade in order to get the child where I believe he deserves to be.

    How often do parents and/or coaches ask you to change grades after they have been posted? This seems to happen a lot at my school. Parents of students with an 89 will ask for the bump. Coaches of failing students will ask for a passing grade.

    If they do ask, do you comply?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I round up any of the _9.5 grades. For example, I round 89.5 to an A. However, 89.4 remains a B.

    I can't think of many times when a parent or coach has asked me to round up more than that .5. Students ask for it all the time. I almost always decline, since I offer lots of chances for students to improve their grade throughout the quarter (retakes, redos, extra credit, etc.).

    If there are special circumstances, I might be willing to round up more than that .5, but that would be on a case-by-case basis and only with a really compelling argument.
     
  4. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    It really depends. Depends on what? Depends on effort. I know if my students gave me 110% or if they gave me didly squat. For students who busted their tales off, if they are sitting at a 91 or 92, you betcha I bump them to a 93. For students with a 83 or 84, I'll bump them to a 85. I did that for TWO students this year, two of 40. They deserved to bump, rewarded for giving me their all every day in class and on every assignment.
     
  5. Splasher

    Splasher Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2014

    I use the marking period exam (which counts as 20% of the MP grade) to decide this. The computer automatically rounds up the .5 grades...i.e. 89.5 to A- and 92.5 to A etc.

    If a student ends with an 89.3 or 89.4, the computer computes this as a B+. I look at the marking period exam. If they aced that, I'm incline to bump them up to the A- since they demonstrated mastery of the content. If they didn't do so well on the marking period exam, I don't bump them up, and tell them they did not demonstrate A level knowledge on the exam. (I would never round down a grade for this reason, it would just cause me not to round up.)
     
  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I always round up grades if the child deserves it based on their behavior/effort, and sometimes, I will bump it up multiple points. Of course, I never lower a child's grade for bad behavior but I do like to reward the kids that come to school and try to act civilized despite the daily chaos around them.

    Also, if a child might fail a course and they are about 5 points or less away from passing (they have a 55% average and need a 60% to pass), I always bump them up so they don't have to repeat the course or take Twilight School ("night" classes so kids can graduate on time). As my P likes to remind us, "fail a kid and you WILL see them again next year in your class. Think about this long and hard before you fail kids just to make a point."
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    wow, blue, five points is a lot! That's the difference between getting 100s on all of the tests and barely passing. I think I'd get kicked out of the department if I did that, lol!

    I do look at two point differences VERY hard - and only if a student passed at least one of his quarters. A one point difference (between passing and failing only) always gets bumped up.

    I have so many students that expect an A when they are just one point away. I cannot use the final exam grade as a determining factor since it is curved and I don't even get to see what is on it. That grade counts as 25% of the semester grade so its influence is already heavy enough.
     
  8. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    If the student passes the EOC standardized exam, we are expect to round up to pass them if it's within a few points. It's teacher discretion, but if you have a noticeable discrepancy in the number of students who failed the SOL and failed your class, admin gets annoyed.

    It doesn't really bother me, since they've clearly shown mastery of the content. Now, if they have a 40 because they refuse to do work, no way. But within 5 points and passed the SOL, sure.
     
  9. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Based on what I've seen, most of our parents don't care much about grades in first grade, unless the kid is failing.

    Regardless, I will bump a child up from a 69, 79, or 89 if they're a kid that's really put a lot of effort forward during the year and/or that I've seen major improvement in their behavior and work habits.

    For instance, I had a student that started out the year ALL OVER THE PLACE. He went home on a bad color everyday, rarely did his independent seat work, and he was always minding other people's business and getting into things (he was the Dennis the Menace to my Mr. Wilson:lol:)

    Anyhow, while he's still silly and I have to stay on top of him, his behavior is much better b/c he's learned self-control, he completes almost all his assignments (and will ask for a little extra time when he doesn't get done), brings back his homework every week and I actually see him trying. He also has a much better attitude toward school and learning.

    A kid like that, I feel deserves the extra point. Same for my kids who consistently do a great job all school year.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Your EOC scores must correlate more closely with achievement than ours do! We have students that get 15/40 correct end up with 85s. @@

    I've had students that have demonstrated absolutely no mastery throughout the semester, miss 20 plus days, come into the EOC and bubble a string of "answers" without ever opening the test booklet. Some of those students "earned" Bs on their exams.

    Just as I would never fail a student based on a singular test, I won't pass one either.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I typically only round .5% and higher. In 4th quarter, I may be a little more lenient. If the child has been A-B all year and has a 78% in a subject, but tried, I'll give it to them.
     
  12. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    Not really

    I only round up if it is a .5 difference or less AND there are no missing assignments. For example, a 7th grader was 30 min tardy the day of a test and did not have time to take it. Despite reminders, she never came in during lunch to take it. On the last day of school, she asked how to get a b. I told her she should have taken the test. She said she did not want to because she would not do well. I said, well, then you don't deserve a b.
     
  13. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jun 14, 2014

    I do not round up. I offer extra credit, so I let that be the deciding factor.
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Yes, I do.
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    My school and the district are really trying to work on lowering the number of HS kids failing courses every year, repeating grades and not graduating on time. The districts also wants to decrease the amount of kids taking credit recovery courses and after school "night school" for HS diploma credit. Not to mention, we also have a huge city-wide push to get more people to come back and get a GED. Politicians here see these things as being key steps to helping Baltimore city youth not drop out, earn a diploma and fix the issues facing many of the under-35 residents.

    Since this is a district wide problem; it's not like we only have a handful of kids failing courses at my school. We would have too many kids having to repeat courses every year if we didn't round many of their grades to the 60% needed to pass.

    A lot of people will criticize this and say that we should make students repeat courses if they fail since they have not mastered the material, but research has shown that having our kids repeat classes every year demoralizes a lot of them and pushes many to drop out.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    This is how it is here with the HSAs. Kids in "AP":rolleyes: classes or with averages over 90% in their classes, often fail the HSAs multiple times.

    Same thing with the SAT. A lot of our honor roll students with the highest GPAs bomb the SAT. Like really bomb. I talked to one girl who was so upset because she didn't know how she can be so smart (she has like a 3.8 GPA) but not know any of the material on the SAT. I told her "I don't know" ... Oh, but I know.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Yuck. I'm getting the impression that my district is moving towards grade inflation too :(
     
  18. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    89.4 = no. 89.5 = yes. Students get what they earn. No earn = no get. Grade inflation benefits nobody, not even those who beg for it. Especially not the beggars. Can't play ball because you didn't do any homework all month and failed all the quizzes? You don't deserve to play ball if you don't keep up your end of the school deal, which is academics first. It's a school, not a gym. No sympathy from me if students chose not to work and then come begging. I do give extra credit, but it's EXTRA, not "in place of." Many of my students come to college expecting favors, coddling, and pencils handed to them. Guess what - SURPRISE! And that it comes as a surprise is yet another travesty.
     
  19. snowball2014

    snowball2014 Rookie

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    Discuss policy with students/parents at the beginning of the school year. Otherwise, rounding Susan's 89 to a 90 becomes unfair to Rhonda when her 92 stays a 92.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 14, 2014

    Same here with the _9.5.

    I generally make very few exceptions past that point.
     
  21. Splasher

    Splasher Rookie

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    But at the same time Susan's grade is not Rhonda's business (and you can't discuss Susan's grade with Rhonda anyway) so you don't have to defend anything to that extent.
     
  22. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    If a kid has put in a lot of effort, and he ends ups with an 89.3 (89.5 I would automatically round up), I may give him a couple of hundredths of a point. But, we are talking .2 or .3 points-no more.
     
  23. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I would strongly recommend you not let yourself get into that position. Make sure your "math" leaves you with either, for example, an 88 or a 92......don't leave it a matter of dispute.

    :whistle:
     
  24. ScienceEd

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    I offer extra credit as well. I tell my students that they have to do additional activities to justify additional points added to their grade.

    Some teachers' are against extra credit but I've found only a handful really concerned with their grades will even attempt it.
     
  25. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My school changed from a 100 point scale to a 4 point one a few years ago. It has made that tipping point almost completely. There were a few cases where I made adjustments in the final grade based on improvement over the course of the year, but that was more mentally weighing the letter grades from Semester 2 a little more than Semester 1. In my experience, it makes more sense to give letter grades than number grades in an ELA course.
     
  26. Jerseygirlteach

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    I just wanted to throw out there that my son is about to finish his first year in middle school (6th grade). He almost qualified for high honor roll which is given to students with a 90 or above average in all subjects. He has an 89 in math and asked - at my suggestion - if there was any extra credit he could do to get himself up to a 90 and make high honor roll. She said she wasn't giving extra credit and wouldn't be rounding up either. He's pretty disappointed, as am I.
     
  27. live

    live Companion

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    I don't make adjustments (e.g. rounding), though I do drop the lowest assignment grade for students who have no missing work. Those same students get an extra credit opportunity as well. They're allowed to make up missing work at any time for partial credit, so really their grades are dependent on their own effort and ability. I make sure the parents are aware of these opportunities, so there are no questions at the end of each quarter.

    ETA: Last year, it was my admin that would inflate grades (if the parents were loud enough).
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm sure that's frustrating. As a student I would have been frustrated, too.

    The problem with rounding up grades is that students and parents come to expect it. I'm sure that the teacher shared her grading policy at the beginning of the year, showing that 90% and higher was an A and whatnot. If the student didn't meet that 90% cutoff, then he should expect a B, however frustrating.

    This is definitely an argument in favor of standards- and mastery-based grading. It's so hard (impossible?) to show the difference in mastery and learning between an 89% and a 90%.
     
  29. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I'll be honest, if a kid comes to me and asks if they can do something to raise their grade half a point to round up, I'll let them do it. I think it's more important to teach the kids that "there's no harm in asking" than 0.5% of a grade in high school.

    This might be stretching it as an analogy, but I know people who are afraid to ask for raises. Why? I think being able to communicate your wants to higher-ups is important. If they say "no", then it's a no. But what if they say "yes"?
     

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