I don't work at a school anymore

Discussion in 'General Education' started by lucybelle, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Nov 27, 2013

    It's more like the lottery.

    There's a weekend concert this weekend where the kids are going to perform and a lot of the kids weren't going to go (it is optional) because they're stressed about exams and such. The director just told them that anyone who goes can get 5 points extra onto the final grade to any class they choose.

    Umm. WTF?!?!?:eek::eek::dizzy::dizzy:

    God I just need this job until July next year and then I'll be out.:mad:
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This director sounds as shady as a total eclipse.
     
  4. LinguaTutor

    LinguaTutor Rookie

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    You should also ask the principal if they will get a free suspension pass, $100 US gift certificate from Best Buy and a nice dinner at the Trump Hotel if they participate.

    :p

    How do the other teachers feel about this?
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    :|
     
  6. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Do you get a 5% raise if you attend?
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Our kids get to exempt up to three exams for perfect behavior and perfect attendance. It is VERY effective.

    Five points wouldn't do anything to my students' grades.

    Now knowing everything else your director has done, I do think she's completely bonkers!
     
  8. RadiantBerg

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    It's 5 points on their final grade.

    I take it to mean if they finished with 85% (B), they would go up to 90% (A-) as the final grade for attending. That's very significant in my opinion.
    As per my department's policy, the amount of extra credit we offer can not increase a student's final grade by more than 1% total.
     
  9. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Honestly, I wouldn't care about the five points; its five not 25 and its being added to the grade - not subtracted. I am ALL about supporting other teachers' incentives/rewards as long as it doesn't cause too much extra work for me and Admin is OK with it.

    When I taught MS (where there were actual grade-level teams); teachers would often offer incentives if students behaved ALL day, met the PBIS criteria for the entire week in every class, etc. I just don't mind this type of stuff because I see it as a way to make someone else's life a little easier.
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I was thinking five points. So if they had 394/506 it would go to 399/506. That would not bother me. Five percentage points would bother me. That's almost a full grade higher for us (7 point scale). I definitely would be having a talk with someone about it.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Grades should reflect what students know (or don't). This really, really bothers me.
     
  12. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    I like a this idea in some ways, but I have a problem with it in other ways. I think the incentive is great because of the behavior aspect. I think three exams is a bit much especially if they can all be applied to one class.

    I also have a problem with the attendance issue. Some children, like my child, have a terrible time with allergies and asthma. When my child catches a cold or virus, she usually needs more time to recover than the average person. Plus, because of fall allergies there are occasionally days (even with 4 medicines) that I won't send her to school because she is absolutely miserable. Plus, as a teacher, I know I wouldn't want to listen to all of that coughing and sneezing all day! I think it is unfair to penalize a child for health issues they can't control.
     
  13. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    All the other teachers are ****** as well.

    The director already went and asked some teachers to give extra credit assignments to the kids that are failing so they can pass. They refused.

    Now they just give out 5 extra points, and yes it means 5% points, to the final grade. I almost feel like, why do I even waste my time grading papers? If the director is just going to give out points willy nilly then I shouldn't waste my time grading!

    By doing this the integrity of the school is completely lost.

    (And I'd love that 5% raise! :lol:)
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't agree with exempting students from three exams for good behavior and attendance. Especially how we grade (that is, only enter grades for summative assessments). I believe a "thank you" for good behavior is nice, but this crosses the line. Good behavior is expected (even though I realize it doesn't always come), and allowing students to skip three tests (academics--what we're there for!) for behaving as they should seems too, too much.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Loveslabs, that's one argument we've been hearing; however, many places (including work places) offer incentives for perfect behavior. We really don't see many kids coming in when truly ill. But it increased our attendance rate astronomically.

    We only give exams twice per year. They could theoretically exempt both and many do. That part doesn't bother me. I wouldn't even give exams if I didn't have to.
     
  16. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    lucybelle - I'm afraid you may be in for a surprise if you're headed for the 'states next year. Administrators, particularly those in schools with a lousy academic performance, resort to gimmicks like this.

    It's NOT about education anymore. It's about entertainment and popularity. How they go out into society, they figure, that's someone's else's problem....they're job is just to get them out of the building.


    :banghead:
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    1. How can they refuse a directive from Admin? Our Admin says we have to let students make up work or do something extra at the end of the quarter if a child is failing. We have to at least offer the opportunity and provide the work - although some students won't take advantage of this opportunity.

    2. Once again, its only 5 points. 5 points does not mean all of your other grading/work/effort is done in vain.
     
  18. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Hmm I'm not sure if I'd be ok with a policy like this. I would not be happy if a student was exempt from an exam/project of mine, because if they were, they most likely wouldn't learn the material, and that would hurt them for the final exam/in the long run. 3 exams just seems like too much in my opinion--especially if they could be exempt from the hard ones. In addition, the policy seems to reward students who don't get sick, and I don't think it's fair to "punish" a student for being sick and encourage them to come to school anyways.
     
  19. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    5 percentage points is A LOT.

    I don't mind providing opportunities for students who are failing to get their grades up, but only if they do the work. Going to an event and passing my class is not ok with me.
     
  20. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    It's three exams-meaning final exams, not just regular tests. They still have to learn all the material to pass tests and projects. I personally dislike finals anyway. It has too much weight and they've already demonstrated if they learned the material since everything builds.

    Incentives for attendance don't bother me. We had them in college. It didn't matter why we were absent, many teachers gave you a zero for that day. Employers offer incentives too. We don't have super sick kids coming in either. It works for us. Staff and students like it.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Five percentage points is HUGE. :huh:
     
  22. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Although teachers take the brunt of the blame for their student's performance, the admins take the brunt of the blame for the school's overall performance. You can see the incentives for admins to employ gimmicks like this to boost student grade because they have zero power when it comes to adjusting grades w/o teacher consent.

    This is one of the issues with merit pay. You incentivize people to cheat the system because their jobs depend on it. Even the most strong willed people will be tempted to make themselves look better at the expense of their students if their income (and hence their life) depends on it.
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I don't think Lucybelle is on incentive pay. I think she's at a private school with a director who is willing to sacrifice grade integrity to keep students enrolled.
     
  24. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    HTML:
    
    
    You might not have kids coming in that belong in the hospital, but I'm sure you have kids that don't really belong in school and that can infect others. I know that middle school and high school me would have hid a fever or bad stomachache for the sake of getting out of finals.
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We have many staff members who do the same. We also have kids who don't miss because they know how far behind they get.

    Look at all the teachers on here who say they go in sick because it's easier than writing sub plans. There are days I'd have to be in the hospital to call off.
     
  26. gr3teacher

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    True, but that doesn't mean we should be giving even more incentive for them to come in sick. If I was a "lazy" student, I wouldn't give two farts in a high wind about catching up on work, because most likely I'd never bother anyway... tell me I could skip finals though? Then if I can stand, I'll be there.

    I'll also admit that I don't understand why a student would be exempted from a final, anyway. I get the idea of finals being worth too much, but I think there is incredible value in having a value, and cumulative tests in general.
     
  27. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I guess we'll just agree to a disagree then :) I'd much rather have my kids do a final paper than an in-class test.
     
  28. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    For English, I can definitely see that. I suspect you'd probably feel differently if you taught math or science though.
     
  29. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I agree with this. In addition, many humanities classes in my school do final papers instead of a final exam or have a final paper be worth most of the final exam.

    For math/science, I think cumulative exams are very important! It forces students to review material and make connections.
     
  30. RadiantBerg

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    True, but if the students all get really high grades, but then can't perform at the same level on the standardized tests, how would that make the school look? (I understand lucybelle is in a private school, but just as a general point.)
     
  31. Honest_Teacher

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    Nobody is being penalized. Your child doesn't have to take extra exams simply because they're frequently sick.
     
  32. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    This is true, but since I don't it doesn't change my perspective any.
     
  33. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    I didn't say my child had to take extra exams. I was saying my child is punished for having the bad luck of dealing with allergies and asthma. Because of bad luck of the draw in the health department they aren't able to be rewarded no matter how well they behave.

    Attendance can also be influenced by a death in the family or a fire in the home. Again, you are punishing a child based on issues beyond their control. When you tie behavior to attendance you are making it impossible for someone with bad luck to have a chance at being successful.

    I think it would be more reasonable to say well behaved children can be exempt from one exam and perfect attendance allows for an exemption from a second exam. That way every child has the potential to be rewarded.

    Plus, if sick children are more likely to come to school because of this policy they are creating more possibilities for my child (and others) to become ill if they are contagious. That to me is a punishment because nobody likes to be sick.

    Also, my children would think it was a punishment to take the exams because they would be afraid people thought they were taking the exams because of poor behavior. My children would be mortified if people thought they weren't well behaved.
     
  34. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    "Punished" isn't the word you're looking for here.

    "inflict a penalty or sanction on (someone) as retribution for an offense, esp. a transgression of a legal or moral code"

    There's no penalty or sanction being implemented in this case. Lack of reward isn't equivalent to being punished.
     
  35. gr3teacher

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    Whether you call it a punishment or not, it effectively works as one. If you have perfect attendance, you get to skip finals. On the flip side, if you don't have perfect attendance, you have to take finals.

    As an adult, it's easy to say, "oh, you aren't being punished, you just aren't getting a reward," but as a teenager, you'd have a hell of a time convincing me that you weren't punishing me.
     
  36. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Everyone still has to take some exams though.

    You can earn one exemption for a semester of no demerits. You can earn one exemption for each quarter of perfect attendance. You can earn three total. Our kids have six-seven classes. Everyone has to take at least three exams. Some classes you cannot exempt, such as AP courses.

    So no one is skipping finals altogether. Sorry if this was not clear.
     
  37. 2ndTimeAround

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    Well, a teen should learn that lack of a reward doesn't equate punishment.

    I don't agree with rewarding students for perfect attendance either. Even with the silly little certificates. Definitely not with exam exemption.

    Our district does it though. With a minimum grade requirement though. There is some formula like you can skip the final if you miss four days and have an A. If you only have a B you can only have missed two days. But teachers can get around the rule by giving students cumulative tests, just not call them "finals" and weight it how they want. So it doesn't really matter.
     
  38. gr3teacher

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    So if you're taking a math class, a science class, a social studies class, an English class, a foreign language class, and two electives, you could theoretically skip the math, science and foreign language finals? Again, teenage me would have basically seen that as skipping finals altogether (I never took a Social Studies test that I couldn't have aced before I started the class... and I always saw English tests as a joke... sorry).
     
  39. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    "So you're telling me I have to take this test because I missed a day, I would have been able to skip it had I not missed a day, but you aren't punishing me for being sick?"-13 year old me.

    There is a difference between a reward and a punishment, but I honestly can't conceive of how in a the world a teenager would be able to discern the difference in this case.
     
  40. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Probably not gr3. Most of our math exams you cannot exempt, especially alg II and higher. Again I can understand why you would say that, but I enjoy our policy.
     

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