Should these students pass?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Tulipteacher, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Jan 24, 2017

    Disclaimer-- these are not my students but are students colleagues taught. So I'm not asking for advice, but rather because I'm curious what others think and what they do in these situations.

    We have semester block scheduling so we have completely finished our semester and students receive final grades next week.We have state exams that count 20 percent of the final grade. Then each quarter is worth 40 percent of the final grade.

    Student 1: failed quarters 1 and 2. Did almost no work. Was capable but didn't do work or make up tests after her many absences. Scored an 81 on the final exam. Mathematically she would get a 55 for the final grade.

    Student 2: got Ds quarter 1 and quarter 2. Did all the work, tried really hard, but did poorly on tests and on all class work if it was graded for accuracy and not completion. Got a 30 on the final exam. Mathematically she would also fail on her final grade.
     
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  3. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Jan 24, 2017

    Passing either of them would not be fair to the kids who did their work, attended school, AND passed the state exam.

    Student 1 didn't do the work.

    Student 2 didn't master the information.

    Neither passes.
     
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  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    First one would fail my class.

    The second one - I'd have to look at my grading policies. Were those Ds barely Ds? Did she already receive a lot of gifts just to get those Ds? Was the 30 on the final exam a surprise? Who wrote the exam? Teacher made? Curve?
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I'd go mathematically on both - neither would pass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 24, 2017

    Fail both. The second kid unfortunately didn't do well on his high stake test. Well, he could have done all the classwork and received As in both quarters and that would have balanced it out. He didn't. Didn't earn a passing grade.

    I don't pass kids unless they have earned it. I find that our education system is dumbed down enough, I came from a system where you had to study super hard just to be average, so no, I will not dumb things down and I will not do favors.
     
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  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    In the end I want to know: what is this student's level of skills and content knowledge? In English, can he / did he write an ok essay? Can he actually read and comprehend and answer questions? Can he think critically and answer higher level questions? Did he do enough work to demonstrate this? And did he do enough work to earn 5 credits?
    In math, you can be a genious and test out of your class. But if you are sitting in a math class, and didn't do enough work, you do not earn the 5 credits, therefore you fail. This is exactly how it would work in college so I'm sticking to it.
     
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  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 25, 2017

    I tend to believe in a mastery approach. If a student can demonstrate mastery without having done the practice work, then the student should receive a passing score. I don't think that our current system allows for a pure mastery approach, though. In this case, therefore, I would give failing grades to both students, because mathematically their final grades are Fs.
     
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    ^ Agreed. What is the point of having a final summative exam if not to determine if the student mastered the content?

    I'd pass the first student.
     
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  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jan 25, 2017

    What was the reason for the absences? If it was illness or emotional issues, I might let it slide since the final showed mastery at the B- level according to our district's grading scale.

    I agree with Rockguykev. What's the point of a final if that isn't going to be used to determine mastery?
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    IF, big IF, a final is a good test, then I can see that reasoning. Unfortunately, in my state, final exams have such ridiculous curves on them that a passing score does not show any mastery at all. It just shows you how you stack up against everyone else in the state. If everyone decides to bubble in pretty designs, then everyone would pass. Even if the children did not read the tests.
     
  12. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Jan 28, 2017

    I would fail both. While student two did try he/she failed the assignments and received a 30 on the final. It might've been a different story if he/she received a C or better on the final to show some understanding, and if they'd came close to passing (within a rounding range of 59.45%+, or 57%+ which is technically an F+ if such a grade exists). But, a 30% is just too low for me.

    Student one put forth little to no effort (according to you, as the teacher) and thus I would fail him/her. But, regardless of effort a 55% is just too low and wouldn't be withing a rounding range for me. I would probably base rounding decisions on how hard the course was, number of passes/fails, effort, important student-related excusing circumstances, and pressure I was under by admin to pass students, etc.
    :)
     
  13. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    This is a hard choice, but probably both would fail. I would be tempted to give the student with a 81 a D- but since student was apathetic and didn't care, I wouldn't have passed this student. If the student with the 81 came back and tried to justify, I would talk to the principal and maybe give a harder final that had to be taken right then and there. However, this is extra work out of our time and not really worth it. If it was an algebra two class for example, I would look up some hard final online or give a different version and grade it very strictly (little or no partial credit if the answer is wrong). It some ways, it would be easier than having a student like this the next year.
     
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  14. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Feb 4, 2017

    Our school policy is mastery based grading, so for sure a student who scores 85 on a comprehensive exam would pass. The other student's pass or fail would be determined by whether or not he had a 'basic' overall comprehension vs. 'emerging,' which could be shown by oral exam if necessary (it's possible that student just doesn't test well).
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
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  15. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    My reply duplicated itself :(
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I'm struggling with this right now because in have a student who does zero class work but scores okay on tests. It's a sticky situation.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

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    Are there curves applied to the final grades? If so, what kind of curve? A normalizing one?
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    That is sticky. Does the classwork material show up on the tests? Is the student disruptive during class work time? If you can assess his mastery on the same time frame as the others, I would let it go. Make a note of it, notify a parent for CYA, and let it go. Unless 'okay' is not okay for you. I had a student that did this years ago. She was smart but lazy. Classmates would question why Iwouldn't nag her but would nag them about participation. I would share that test scores were driving my choices. She consistently earned high A's. In another class a student did the same, but was barely getting by. That wasn't acceptable for me. If classmates complained about different treatment, I wouldn't have a justification.
     
  19. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Feb 5, 2017

    Many of you seem to forget "truth in grading". A syllabus is a "contract" with the student. A grading scale is also a "contract" with a student. If you void your contract with the student you could be taken to court ( theoretically ). The other students could also do this. Best to follow the rules and not an ideology, ideology will eventually bite you and you won't have a legal leg to stand on. I have seen this happen.
     

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