Class averages

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Cobalt_Waves, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Cobalt_Waves

    Cobalt_Waves Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2012

    This is my first year teaching at the high school level and I am finding myself more stressed out in terms of grading. In elementary school, students did not really care what their grades were and I never had a parent complain that his or her child got a B instead of an A, etc. It was also much more of an art than a science.

    Now that I can see the average, numerical grade for every assignment I give... I find myself questioning if the class average is too high, too low, etc. Has anyone ever had pressure from administrators about the class average? My grade 12 class is quite strong and so their average is usually higher than the average from my grade 9 class etc.

    Also how do you safeguard against parent complaints, etc.?
     
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  3. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Nov 25, 2012

    I am fairly new as well and had the same concerns. Take your gradebook to experienced teachers,preferably in the same subject area, who know your students and their capabilities. 85% of the kids will be at their expected (or previously demonstrated) level of performance. This can reduce the anxiety about being too rigorous.
    also have these teachers review your quizzes and test frequently. It's very hard to gauge one's class averages in a vacuum especialy when new to the HS level.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 25, 2012

    At times I've wondered if certain assignment averages or overall class averages were too high or too low. I can tell you that somehow the averages always seem to work out into a pretty regular bell curve by the end of the term. It happens in just about every class, every term, no matter what. For this reason, I've stopped putting too much stock into averages until the end of the term.

    Now, if you feel like something was really inexplicably high or low, it might be work another look. Maybe there was a cheating situation, or maybe the material tested was too difficult for students. Data analysis is something you should be doing frequently, and it will help you determine whether your assessments accurately and fairly reflect what your students know.
     
  5. Accountable

    Accountable Companion

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    Nov 25, 2012

    I think GTB nailed it, Cobalt. And if you follow that advice, it in itself will serve as an excellent 'safeguard' against parent complaints, because it will force you to know your students better.

    eta: make sure you thank the parents that call for showing interest in their child's future. We get precious few phone calls in my school.
     
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 26, 2012

    Averages aren't the best measure. Use the Median Instead. I like to see Median Scores between 85-87% for my classes.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 26, 2012

    I almost always ignore class averages. They really don't show me what I want to know. I have one class of high achievers where the class average might be in the mid 90s for a test. But the same test in a class of low performers might have an average of 60.

    I'll get concerned if a couple of students that typically do well bomb a test. I'll let them be my litmus test for an assignment.
     
  8. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Nov 26, 2012

    I like the median of my scores to be around an 85 for all of my classes. Honors is a challenging class, so if it's around an 82-83 in honors, I'm fine with that.
     

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