HYPOTHETICAL - Changing student grades under pressure

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by catnfiddle, Feb 26, 2014.

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  1. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Are you asking me?
     
  2. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    This topic has done a nice job of reminding me just why I hate the sports scene in high school and college.
     
  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Yes
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It's been wonderfully on topic with a lot of sharing. The stories have been heartbreaking at times, but it's been insightful.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If the football players and the baseball players and the boys' basketball players get special treatment, then the field hockey players and the softball players and the girls' basketball players - and, in places where cheer is a competitive sport in its own right, the cheer squad - should, too. Or, to turn this around: if other teams that put in the time and the sweat but don't have the visibility don't get special consideration, neither should the star teams.
     
  6. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    I received it most likely because I was head and I had to attend the games. I got a lot of leeway with due dates and assignments. Teachers asked how they could help. I took advantage of it on the occasion. Some teachers were harder on me...

    My opinion in general is that no, cheerleaders shouldn't get special privileges.

    Though I think that makes me seem hypocritical.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Because you know better now?
     
  8. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    I don't see cheering as a sport and doing it by no means made me an athlete. I just enjoyed the school spirit aspect of it.

    Then again the whole "Is cheering a sport or isn't it" is a debate. But it depends. Competitive cheerleading with choreography differs greatly from basic high school cheerleading.
     
  9. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Yes. I rushed in college and was in a sorority. I benefited then too. It took me a while to realize certain things.

    In my life I have had certain advantages so it's hard for me personally to be adamantly against them when I have so greatly benefited. It's a tough issue for me to have an opinion on.

    Anyway, just adding my perspective to the mix.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think it's not only okay but great when experience provides new perspective. It doesn't make you a hipocrite. :)
     
  11. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Thanks :)
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    An interesting situation from a cousin of mine who's an English professor at a big name football school....

    One fall term she had one of the football stars in one of her sophomore level classes. She assigned her typical first paper and when the football player turned his in, it was a disaster. It was poorly written with spelling and grammar mistakes in every sentence. She failed him.

    The next paper was due in a couple weeks. That due date came and this football player turned in a well researched, well written, very thoughtful paper. My cousin immediately thought he had to have cheated, because there was no way the person who wrote the first paper also wrote the second. Instead of grading it and giving it back, she told the guy he needed to see her in her office that day. The guy came to her office and she accused him of cheating in no uncertain terms. He then proceeded to discuss his paper and why he'd formed the opinions he formed, citing the appropriate sources. My cousin listened, dumbfounded. After about 20 minutes of discussion, she asked the football player why, if he could write as he showed he could in the second paper, he would ever turn in something as terrible as the first paper. His response? He turned in that first paper, because as a talented football player, nobody had ever made him work before.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Yup, mm.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    What a great story, MM!
     
  15. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Unfortunately for me, I would "look bad" as a teacher if I failed a whole bunch of students. There are so many in my math classes that don't belong in 8th grade math but they are here..... By no means will I ever change a grade but my grade book as several gimmicks built in so that it would be very difficult to fail.... Things like dropping test scores, study guides counting as quarter to half test grades, extra-credit points for bellwork, scaling test scores, etc......
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    There would also be people that saw what you set up for your classroom grading policies and believe it makes you look bad because you are using grade inflation methods to move kids along.
     
  17. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Yes, but I would rather send them through (especially as a 1st year teacher). Basically, my hands are tied.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I guess my question would be, when do you stop inflating grades by using gimmicks in your grade book? Sure you could wait a few years, but then going from none failing to most failing won't look good. You could switch schools in your district if you have a large enough district, but then you wouldn't want to look bad your first year at a new school either.

    So, I guess the question is, since you are using the reasoning that because you are a 1st year teacher it has to be done, when does it stop? At what point will it be acceptable to not inflate grades and send the students through?
     
  19. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Grade inflation will unfortunately always occur. For example, if I could a group project as 2 test grades, is that inflation? It's not a formal take-a-test assessment but projects are other ways to keep students engaged and learning. Dropping the lowest test score I think is good because this gives students a chance to have an off-test score... The saddest part is what a teacher colleague in the same middle school told me.... He said,

    "...the students you have presently didn't just start sucking at math when they got to you. They've been passed along to the next grade. Now, they're in 8th grade and you have them. In a hypothetical class of 21 students, there will be 8 who will get it no matter what you do. The next 8 you can help and they will also succeed... Don't waste your time on the bottom 5. They've never gotten it, they never will get it...." :(
     
  20. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Because I was on my university swim team I was able to go to college. Without the scholarship, I never would have never been able to afford to go.

    Extra curricular activities in high school were my life and my greatest memories are from swim team, drama, marching band, etc.

    Taking away sports would be just as detrimental as taking away the arts.

    (sorry to get off topic, I just couldn't let this slide)
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The arts, sports, etc are fine... as long as they are in place to supplement education, not supplant it. In the situations given in this topic, sports are being done INSTEAD of education, not IN ADDITION to education.

    Basically, if sports are there to enrich the experience and make somebody a better student... great! If sports are there to help hand somebody a fraudulent degree/diploma... not okay.

    I was a music major as an undergrad. You'll never hear me disparage the arts in school... until crap like this topic is raised about how so and so is only passing a subject to stay eligible for a band concert.
     
  22. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Whoa, whoa, WHOA! This topic is about how we as teachers handle when our academic and moral standards are challenged. Just because students are in sports and arts activities does not mean they get or deserve special treatment in their core subjects. It means they may have additional chances to shine in school and earn scholarships for college, provided they maintain an acceptable GPA on their own merits.

    The question I have posed in starting this thread is how to handle when that acceptable GPA is not met and forces outside of the classroom don't back us, the teachers.
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My paper on the subject has been turned in to my professor. I told him about this thread (not by name) and how universal this problem can be. It's one of the few times I've ever really been shaken by my school's lack of tenure.
     
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