WOuld your alarm go off?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by tchr4vr, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    So . . . I teach Dual Enrollment English. The policy has always been that if students do not receive at least a C in the course, they cannot continue to the next semester.

    We have recently set up a program within our school that allows the students enrolled in our program to complete their associates degree while in high school. They take 18 credits each year, junior and senior year, then graduate with both. Good idea, very overwhelming for the students, and frankly, our district did not have everything planned out.

    So, now that we're at the semester, I lost 10 students. These students either failed (2) or received a D, and were removed from my class. So, I find out today that the cc college that is affiliated with this program actually allows Ds to count for credit in their core classes, provided that the student finished the Associates Degree program.

    So, now, the 8 students with Ds are being returned to my class. Am I wrong in thinking that this is the beginning of a slow downward slide? The kids are going to ask how these students got back into the class. We have lost a major leveraging tool. We can no longer say, "You have to get a C." I don't think getting a D in core subject at the college level should be acceptable in any form, regardless. Conceivably, you get get all Ds, but still get a degree. I know grades are not always indicative of ability, but I don't want the hairdresser who got Ds. Ds imply lack of effort, or lack of abilty, and a lack of caring. Our borderline students, who work really hard to get that C, now have an excuse to do less. A few of the students in question I rounded them up to a D, from a 62 to a 64, because I didn't want to give them F and have to repeat the course. And for some, I now regret that, because I know that I will see the same thing again. These are students that carried a low C to an F all semester, and many of them claim it was the overwhelmingness (?) of the course load. It's not going to get any better.

    I've had students over the past 4 years be removed for Ds, and yet no one ever put them back in the class. I know its because of this program--we can't put out in the community that 10% of the kids in the program this year didn't make it--it will show where they're weaknesses are and how they hasn't been planned or organized correctly.

    I had thought this class was my last bastion of actual accountability, but alas, no more! Am I wrong in thinking this totally wrong and this is leading to no accountability? Needless to say, I will not be rounding up anymore, and I will let them fail.
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Jan 30, 2020

    It’s the dumbing down of America. D’s are considered passing grades now... Good grief.

    At my school, anything less than a 70% is an automatic F. That’s the way it should be.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Everyone gets a trophy for showing up!!
     
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  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I agree. I'd buy that in the 70% understanding, you're at least understanding a majority of the concept. After that, well, I just don't believe you get the concept.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Part of the problem with this post is that a community college is giving college credit for high school work. That is wrong on several levels. I don't know who thought this was a great idea, but obviously they need to go back to the drawing board. HS needs to stick to their guns on what is passing, and the community college should count themselves lucky that someone is being held accountable for what is being learned. This can easily be revamped by writing that said students will earn college credit when the grade earned is C or higher. Face it - some of these students may actually need a second shot at learning the material, not an escape clause. Shame on the school for not writing the rules better and for not standing their ground.
     
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  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I would expect your Dual Enrollment English class is more difficult and truly at college level. If not, it really is fraud. If it is as difficult as a college course, then you don't have a choice but to abide by their policy. I also think that it isn't an issue about where the CC sets the cut off because the credit will be issued from them (and their accrediting body). You are just their surrogate.

    If your HS is allowing students to enter Dual Enrollment, your HS is certifying that they have met all of the HS standards for English and are ready to be enrolled in college level courses. If that is not the case, then that is the fault of your HS for allowing students who do not have the requisite skills to be placed in out-of-high-school-level classes via the high school.

    A lot of colleges, even 4 year, allow Ds as "passing" to the next level. Some majors won't allow this, but many schools allow this. A D, although others disagree, is still passing. F is fail.

    We can argue all day what is right and wrong about the grade letter and passing, but we all know it is really just a shell game. Future's D may be very different than my D letter grade in the same subject at the same level. We all know this to be the case.

    OP, have you sat in the CC classes to determine the level and the difficulty of grading? Your school's dual enrollment should be at the same level. Who knows, with the bad press of CC's and how easy they have become, the CC associated with your school may have made a department decision to make their courses harder to stretch the top but allow the D to pass because they want to keep those who used to get C grades under their old policy.

    I'm not so sure I have a problem with your college class following your college's policy if you really are teaching at the level they expect.

    I do have a problem, in general, of the dumbing down of education across the board. But that has been a long slide for decades now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
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  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I almost entirely agree with this.

    If CC’s have become easy, then getting a D in an extremely easy class is nothing short of ridiculous. In that case, it should be a fail if the student can’t even score average in a class that virtually requires no effort in order to pass.
     
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  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm not saying that lax CC criteria and grading is something we want to happen, but if the school partners with this CC to provide college level courses to the students, the surrogate, in this case the OP, should go by the CC's policies.

    If the school does not agree with the policies of the CC, then they should cut ties and not offer "college level" classes if they feel they are not beneficial to the students and just offer AP or advanced coursework with no college credit.

    Parents can then go to the CC to see if they can negotiate coursework outside of the HS for their children if they so choose and the school certifies the students have successfully completed all HS level English coursework.
     
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  10. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    My course is on par with, and sometimes harder, depending on who is the instructor. I was told specifically by the head of my department (at the college) after she came to observe that my students worked far harder than hers did; she was surprised at how many strong students I had, she said "Most of mine wouldn't bother." (I guess this means that my Ds are others Cs) I used to teach this same course at two other cc's in our area and this is not their policy. This is this CC's policy, not the school, however, we have never instituted the "D is passing rule." I never knew this rule existed until this week. I didn't believe it until I was shown it in writing.

    My bigger concern at this point is that now that kids know they only have to get a D, for some of them, the incentive to work hard is gone. And I do wonder, when the colleges these students are applying to see those grades, even with an associates degree, if that will make them think twice before accepting them.
     
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  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I agree that some CC's now are very watered down. Instructors at CC's are trying to keep their positions too. Too many failures and they are under the microscope. Too many kids graduating HS with good grades who don't have the skills or didn't do any work to get the grades. It is all one vicious cycle starting early in public school and going all the way through some colleges. I agree there is a serious education problem in our country.

    I stand by going by their policy as long as your HS works with them. I also suggest not rounding up anymore unless it is the last four tenths of a percent. Even then, rounding to a D isn't going to help that student unless that student never plans to get more than the associate degree.
     

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