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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    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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    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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    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

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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.
     
  17. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    I understand that my grading policy and school district's policy towards grading in a special class is an opposing view. I can not necessarily control the "Excellent effort=65%" policy. It is a little more complicated than what can be said on an online forum.
    For others to fully understand this, they would have to attend my district's meeting, experience the special education meetings, and explore our grading system. This policy most likely does not make sense to a lot of you, however, this is what I am working with.
    We may alter student grades, but progress is always based on assessments and actual understanding. I teach a special education class.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    No. You are wrong. I didn't assume anything about you.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    At your school, students get a 65% so long as they try?! Good grief.

    Obviously, you have no control over this (but you should as it is YOUR classroom), but what your school is doing is tantamount to passing out participation awards.

    I imagine a situation going on like this, “Nice try, Jimmy. You’re not even close to the real answer — something like 10,000% error — but you made an honest effort and so you get a 65%! ;)

    I think this is one reason of many for why people in the public arena do not respect the field of education these days. Employers and colleges disagree with this practice and yet we’re (not your fault) doing it why?
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Do you teach special education?

    I do not teach sped which makes my situation a little bit different. We were told that if any students on IEPs are failing, there needs to be another progress meeting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  21. Teacher234

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    Well, this interesting grading policy is only for the special education classes. However, middle school and high school teachers occasionally implement this policy for students who are putting forth extraordinary effort, yet still can not pass.
    Plus, numerical grades are not used as progress evidence in a special class. The district wants a report card in all classrooms as a formality. I still have to follow grading requirements and the promotion to next grade policy still is required for the special classes.
     
  22. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Yes, I teach a special class/self-contained setting. Student's academic and behavior progress are indicated by other assessments (NOT numerical grades). I am required to give a 65% for students who are failing, but have put forth extraordinary effort and did what they absolutely could.
     
  23. Ima Teacher

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    We try to stay on kids for missing work to get it all in. Somebody on our team stays after school four days a week for kids who need extra help. We call, email, and send home notes. While we do have kids who fail for progress reports sometimes, we rarely have kids who fail for the grading period, and it is very, very rare for kids to fail for the year.

    In my grade book, I separate work completed with help (classwork) from work completed independently (assessments graded to standard) so parents and kids can see how the kids compare to the standard vs. with a lot of support.
     
  24. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Oh, this is a special education class. That is very different. I thought you were talking about a general education classroom.
     
  25. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Oh...sorry about that. I apologize for not indicating this sooner. I thought it was known that I was a self-contained teacher. While I do not use numerical grades as evidence of progress, I have other methods that are more personalized for each of my students.
     
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  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Dec 25, 2018

    I probably overlooked that or didn’t read your post thoroughly enough. :)

    This is posted in the General Education section and so I didn’t want to assume that you did.
     
  27. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    My first year teaching (math in 1978) was with the lowest 6-8th graders. I had a kid that missed LOTS of school. When he showed up I gave him the quizzes and tests. I had lots of evidence he knew the material. It was a mastery based program created by two of the math teachers there, I gave him an A because that was his average. The principal called me in and asked me how he did it when all his other grades were F's. He said I had to change it to an F because of how many days he missed. I thought "well hell, this might encourage him to show up more" in my youthful and enthusiastic early twenties.
     

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