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Rum_Pirate
09-25-2018, 03:03 PM
Really?






Education FL teacher fired for refusing to give students credit for homework not turned in

By:

NBC4 Staff (https://www.wfla.com/meet-the-team/nbc4-staff/1101632896)

Posted: Sep 25, 2018 08:59 AM EDT


Updated: Sep 25, 2018 09:39 AM EDT
23476
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WCMH) -- Should students get credit for work not handed in?One Florida teacher said no, and took a stand.
And now she's been fired for that move.
Motivation, inspiration-- that's what Diana Tirado strives to provide her students as a longtime teacher.
"Teaching is a calling for me," Tirado told WPTV (https://www.wptv.com/).
So she thought the same when she started teaching 8th grade history at West Gate in Port Saint Lucie last month.
But then she assigned an explorer notebook project that many students didn’t turn in.
It was at this point Tirado found out about what she says is the school's no zero policy reflected here in the student and parent handbook.
"But what if they don't turn it in, and they say we'll give them a 50. Oh no we don't," said Tirado.
Tirado was terminated on September 14 but there's no clause mentioned in the letter from the principal since she was still in her probationary period.
On her last day she wrote a message to students on her whiteboard that stated

“Mrs. Tirado loves you and wishes you the best in life! I have been fired for refusing to give you a 50% for not handing anything in.”
She sent a picture of the board through a class app and posted it on Facebook.
It's now been shared more than 400 times.
Tirado hopes this time she motivates policy change.
"I'm so upset because we have a nation of kids that are expecting to get paid and live their life just for showing up and it's not real."


Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

sharpiefan
09-25-2018, 03:06 PM
Can I get half-pay for not showing up at work?

CWSmith
09-25-2018, 03:29 PM
Astonishing. If true, I hope she seeks legal council for the good of the kids.

S.V. Airlie
09-25-2018, 03:32 PM
I had it figured out!

When I taught in the UK and couldn't find an assignment, I figured I'd misplaced it!

When I taught in the US and couldn't find an assignment, I figured he didn't turn it in!

SIMPLE! And often TRUE!

S.V. Airlie
09-25-2018, 03:40 PM
When in England, I had three students failing my course. Added up what the had done and hadn't done and took the results to the Dean of Studies. When they returned from vaca, she put down the law and said their work had to be done on time or they wouldn't graduate. I suspect these students were thinking she was fibbing, who wouldn't let seniors graduate, unheard of! Well, I kept tabs even to the point to see if they had slipped their assignments in my mailbox at midnight. Never did. End of the year, they didn't graduate. Should have heard them scream bloody murder.

Another point, why give extra credit when the problem is that they're not doing the required assignments? Doesn't make sense to me!

No if one wants extra credit and does the required assignments, that's another issue.

skuthorp
09-25-2018, 03:48 PM
Here the OS student 'industry' throws up similar problems SV. Parents pay a bomb to educate their kids in Aus. but sometimes the kids do not do the work but expect to graduate 'because they paid for the degree'.

Phil Y
09-25-2018, 03:49 PM
A while ago my son handed up, late, an English assignment which looked too much like an example the class had been given. A Marxist analysis of the Great Gatsby. Different words used, but the same ideas, in the same order. It was sent back with a note suggesting he rewrite it, using his own thoughts, or he'd get a 0. Good on his teacher!

S.V. Airlie
09-25-2018, 03:53 PM
I had a rubber stamp for such occasions. Red in BS! with redo next to it. Was chastised by the headmaster because the student complained (nothing new there) and I responded that BS stood for BE SPECIFIC! End of discussion this time.

Dave Hadfield
09-25-2018, 03:59 PM
Is this BS?

I sure hope so.

mmd
09-25-2018, 04:06 PM
My wife, now retired from 35 years of teaching high school sciences, saw this thread. Her response was. "Don't get me started!"

She vehemently opposed moves by the school admin to adopt a 'no fail' policy. She called it the WPA - We Pass All.

George Jung
09-25-2018, 04:06 PM
Yeah. The name 'Tirado' (tirade?), along with the rest, 'smells funny'. And it is a RP troll.... :P

Keith Wilson
09-25-2018, 04:12 PM
She's a real person, and that's her real name. (Tirar menas throw, shoot, discard - 'tirado' is like 'shot' or 'thrown'; not that uncommon a name.) The school spokesperson said this: "Ms. Tirado was released from her duties as an instructor because her performance was deemed sub-standard and her interactions with students, staff and parents lacked professionalism and created a toxic culture on the school's campus. During her brief time of employment at West Gate, the school fielded numerous student and parent complaints as well as concerns from colleagues. Based on new information shared with school administrators, an investigation of possible physical abuse is underway."

(Source (https://patch.com/florida/aventura/teacher-fired-refusing-credit-missed-school-work))

Phil Y
09-25-2018, 04:15 PM
Now I smell BS. An investigation is underway, but hey, let's fire her anyway.

S.V. Airlie
09-25-2018, 04:16 PM
Is this BS?

I sure hope so.No, I had one. Only pulled it out for special circumstances along with a "REDO" on the note explaining why.

Too Little Time
09-25-2018, 04:26 PM
she thought the same when she started teaching 8th grade history at West Gate in Port Saint Lucie last month.

But then she assigned an explorer notebook project that many students didn’t turn in.
It sounds like she gave an assignment that was not part of the curriculum.

I guess the school has a policy of how grading is done. It appears the school has the last word.

George Jung
09-25-2018, 05:46 PM
Now I smell BS. An investigation is underway, but hey, let's fire her anyway.

Two different issues - failed at her job/fired; the other may lead to criminal charges.

Peerie Maa
09-25-2018, 05:53 PM
Now I smell BS. An investigation is underway, but hey, let's fire her anyway.


Two different issues - failed at her job/fired; the other may lead to criminal charges.

It does sound like "!lets shoot the messenger" or more bluntly "lets smear and attack our critic".

If (and it is easy enough to check) the school does have a policy of awarding 50% to slackers and therefore rewards laziness and disobedience the school deserves all of the criticism it gets.

She is unlikely to obtain any redress, she was still on "probation" so has no comeback for being fired, and however crass the schools plolicy may be, it is still policy.

George Jung
09-25-2018, 06:04 PM
Huh. Where did you find the info that inspired your perception?

Keith Wilson
09-25-2018, 06:06 PM
I dunno - it really seems like there's probably a lot going on in this case that we don't know about. It may indeed be that she was fired for refusing to follow a stupid policy, or it may be that she's a total jerk and a lousy teacher, even abusive, or maybe both, or something else entirely. I'd bet quite a lot that we aren't getting the whole story here. The whole point of a probationary period is to make it easy to get rid of somebody management doesn't think is going to do well.

Vince Brennan
09-25-2018, 06:23 PM
Nick, I don't find anything about her being under probation, although a note "in her short time" might be taken to indicate such. Still, no concrete mention of "probation" in the Aventura "Patch"'s story.

Comment?

Ian McColgin
09-25-2018, 06:27 PM
She was probationary at that school but she was a teacher of long experience. The 50% rule (still failing where I live) is in the student and parent handbook. It appears that no one told her and she's neither student nor parent.

I have seen the results of simply passing children up to the next grade. It's a great excuse for lazy and incompetent school personnel top to bottom where it happens. Ever dealt with a 15 year old ninth grader who cannot read at all?

That sort of policy should be criminalized as child endangerment.

S.V. Airlie
09-25-2018, 06:29 PM
To answer your question Ian, YES!

Ian McColgin
09-25-2018, 06:43 PM
The story with this kid had a happy ending. I was working as a middle school janitor, really organizing for the Oregon School Employees Union, with hair long enough to tuck in my belt. So this kid started haunting me. His teachers, including disgracefully enough the special ed guy, were happy if he skipped class and hung around me because at least he wasn't getting in to trouble. We talked and I got to realize that he was really bright, articulate, musically quite talented. He listened to Alan Watts rebroadcasts on public radio and we talked about spirituality a lot. So I gave him a copy of "The Book". Gave it a week and asked how he liked it. Took a bit but he finally told me he could not read.

We had a janitorial staff with more advanced degrees than the teaching staff. One guy with his PhD in library science had been RIFed from his profession, too old to land another library job, and so ended in his senior years pushing a mop. You know what they say - Ask a librarian. He ran me through a bunch of reading disability diagnostics. The one where you put a mirror on the table next to the book the subject is to read from to watch eye movement told the story. He could not make his eyes follow any text. After a bit of working on his mother, who was one of those Jehovah's Witnesses who thought glasses were wrong (which is not really the doctrine), I took the young man to a connection I had at the Pacific University op school. Turned out his problem was readily correctable and I had the pleasure of watching a young man take himself from illiteracy to a college reading level in about two months.

Kids like that in Oregon at that time - early '70s - were simply passed up grade by grade till they were old enough that school attendance was not mandatory. They they were cut loose. It's a practice that is actually in violation of several federal and state laws, but it's endemic.

Osborne Russell
09-25-2018, 06:51 PM
I went through that tutoring a Somali girl. She was amazingly intelligent and energetic in discussion, but would clam up when I asked her to read something. Turned out she couldn't read English. Junior in high school. Instead of facing reality, a year later, the school gave her the same diploma as everyone else. Helped them, not her. They abandoned her. F them.

David W Pratt
09-25-2018, 07:11 PM
When I taught Earth Science at a school full of high achieving, grade grubbing students, I graded very leniently, at first, and gradually raised my standards. The result was, the students learned to enjoy turning in the homework. At the end of the marking period, I had students turning in homework even after I had submitted grades. Positive reinforcement is a powerful force.

paulf
09-25-2018, 08:28 PM
I never went to high school, Joined the Marines at 17 and got a GED. They were tough on grades. Best thing I could have done at the time. Had a CO who threatened me and my buddy (his only dropouts) that we were .. going to pass those exams...get it a-Holes?!

Later, I found a professor that let me squirm into a science program if I could cut it. Best teacher I ever had..still fast friends after 45 years.

Sometimes it works.

WI-Tom
09-26-2018, 02:14 AM
Hmm... Lots of instinctive negativity about the 50% credit policy. I feel some of that reaction myself--how DARE schools give credit to students who didn't do ANYTHING? How can that be right?

But in real life it's not that simple. Let's say a class has ten 50-point assignments for the semester. A student skips the first one and gets a 0. She now gets 50/50 on ALL of the other nine assignments (a pretty amazing academic feat, you'll agree), and ends with an A- (450/500, or 90%). She is barely able to get there. In fact, she has to get 9 perfect papers to earn an A- for the semester after skipping one assignment. Congratulations, you say. She earned it.

But if she had received a 50% on the assignment she skipped, she would have earned a 95% (A) for the semester. Can you really say she didn't earn it? And if she did, why are you offended that she got 50% on the assignment she didn't do?

Or, what if she gets 45/50 on all of the other nine (an A- (90%) on each one)? (Still a pretty amazing academic feat). If she gets a 0 on the skipped assignment, she ends up with a B- (405/500, or 81%).

Congratulations. You have just given a B- to a student who has been doing A- level work for almost an entire semester, with the exception of one skipped assignment. Nine straight nearly-perfect papers in a row. A clear mastery of content knowledge. No doubt you feel righteous about not letting her get away with skipping an assignment. But how accurate is your assessment of her abilities and achievements?

What happens to that student in a school with a 50% for missing work policy? She ends up with 430/500, a solid B at 86%. Again, that's after 9 near-perfect assignments in a row, clearly demonstrating mastery of content at a high level. How accurate is your assessment now? And is your outrage at her getting a 50% on an assignment she didn't do proportional to the difference it made in her grade, going from a B- to a B?

If the purpose of a grade is what I think most of us assume it to be--to reflect what a student learns, what they can do, how much they know, and how well they have mastered the content--both of these grades are abject failures as accurate assessments. That's because there's a cow here that's so sacred that it has become invisible: grading by percentages.

Why do we grade by percentages? Because... because that's how we do it. No thought, no rationale. It provides a handy number in a gradebook. It's easy to calculate. It's what grading software is set up to do. It's what people are used to. It's very easy to apply for low-order thinking skills like memorization or completely objective questions of fact. But it's essentially meaningless.

And using percentages also weights the F category in the gradebook 6 times more than any of the other grades, because there are 6 "slots" in the gradebook that result in an F (0-10%, 11-20%, 21-30%, 31-40%, 41-50%, and 51-60%). If a student gets a 0 on a skipped assignment, it's virtually impossible for that student to receive a grade that accurately reflects their mastery of content. What do we gain in return?

I find it interesting that as adults, we seem to delight in imposing draconian expectations for perfection on teenagers--expectations we would find extremely unreasonable in our own lives. Have you ever missed a deadline at work, or failed to do something you were supposed to do? Forget to wear that respirator one time while sanding? Skip handing in lesson plans to a principal you know was never going to read them anyway? (Guilty, sir!)

Did you then do perfect work for the rest of the year, only to have your boss say, "Sorry, you missed doing that report back in October. Even with your otherwise near-perfect record, that's a B-. Here is 81% of your annual pay. Enjoy it."

More later if anyone's interested. I understand people's initial reaction about giving credit for missing work. They're mad. They're offended by the "unfairness" of it.

They should be offended, instead, that the grades our public school systems hand out, and the numbers they put on students' work, are largely meaningless. In trying to assess responsibility and work ethic AND mastery of content with a single number, we guarantee that the number we end up with is, for many students, wildly inaccurate for both categories. And it's only a number--it tells you nothing about what a single student has learned, or what they need to keep working on.

Tom

Peerie Maa
09-26-2018, 02:54 AM
Nick, I don't find anything about her being under probation, although a note "in her short time" might be taken to indicate such. Still, no concrete mention of "probation" in the Aventura "Patch"'s story.

Comment?

From Rummys OP quote

Tirado was terminated on September 14 but there's no clause mentioned in the letter from the principal since she was still in her probationary period.

Jimmy W
09-26-2018, 03:58 AM
I took a botany course in college where I did very good all the semester. The day of the final exam, I was very sick and flunked the exam. The professor later told me that he knew I was sick the day of the test and had disregarded the final exam and gave me an A for the course.

Rum_Pirate
09-26-2018, 06:47 AM
Yeah. The name 'Tirado' (tirade?), along with the rest, 'smells funny'. And it is a RP troll.... :P
It appears that according to you everything I post is a troll. Cease the bs and call it George. Junk the false accusations.

Ian McColgin
09-26-2018, 07:06 AM
WI-Tom raises a good point. If the school's policy were based on such education and consequence based reasoning and if it were explained to this teacher, it all would make some sense. And good teachers will notice situations and will do as Jimmy W experienced.

The best thing is for the teacher to structure the class work load such that homework is kept within reason and there is plenty of feed-back to the teacher. But that can mean "less work" for the students and more work for the teacher.

Homework. Teachers need to be real about demands on student time. Out of the 24 hours we have per day, most people should allocate 8 hours for sleep and about three hours for everything involving food. A normal school load has perhaps five classes, an hour each counting getting from hither to yon. If you figure that homework should not exceed class time, we're down to only three unallocated hours per day. That's obscene, especially as those three hours are rarely in a useful block. Homework plays an important role in learning but too many teachers use as an attempted substitute for effective teaching.

Feed-back to teachers. This involves class participation, grading homework, testing, term papers, all that. When I was teaching HS English, I implemented a Friday "2-8-2". I learned this at Taft. It's a fast in class essay on a specified topic. It's a twelve minute experience: "2-8-2" because the student should use the first two minutes to organize thoughts, eight minutes to write, and two to review and revise. For the teacher, this means a weekend of deciphering a page or two of hasty scrawl per student. It gets the students used to thinking fast and gives a huge amount of information to the teacher. And to the student. Other types of class would have different short quiz jolts. Both students and teachers need to have reliable and nearly constant measures, Without something such, things fall on two or three high stakes events, typically mid-term and final exams and some sort of project or paper.

I'm not here dealing with how I'd attempt to teach in today's environment of high stakes standard testing, the pressure to 'teach to the test', and school performance evaluated almost entirely on those tests. Glad I never had to teach in such circumstances.

Norman Bernstein
09-26-2018, 07:11 AM
It appears that according to you everything I post is a troll. Cease the bs and call it George. Junkthe false accusations.

Well, you certainly don't vet the stories you post. This one, for example, may indeed be utter BS; the link that Keith posted, at least, provided a response from the school administrators who contended that the teacher was NOT fired specifically for refusing to give 50% credit for work not handed in... they cited that there were other reasons.


Chief Spokesperson Kerry B. Padrick of the St. Lucie Public Schools told Patch that Tirado has been spreading a "campaign of misinformation" about her termination and that there is no "district or individual school policy" prohibiting teachers from recording a grade of zero for work not turned in.

"Ms. Tirado was released from her duties as an instructor because her performance was deemed sub-standard and her interactions with students, staff and parents lacked professionalism and created a toxic culture on the school's campus," Padrick insisted. "During her brief time of employment at West Gate, the school fielded numerous student and parent complaints as well as concerns from colleagues. Based on new information shared with school administrators, an investigation of possible physical abuse is underway."

Furthermore, the note that the teacher wrote on the board was HIGHLY unprofessional.... trying to get her students to take a side by presenting what clearly must have been only part of the story. That note was indiscreet

We see far too many posts like this: something that jumps to a political conclusion without any semblance of consideration for parts of the story that are unknown.

Rum_Pirate
09-26-2018, 07:41 AM
Hmm... Lots of instinctive negativity about the 50% credit policy. I feel some of that reaction myself--how DARE schools give credit to students who didn't do ANYTHING? How can that be right?

But in real life it's not that simple. Let's say a class has ten 50-point assignments for the semester. A student skips the first one and gets a 0. She now gets 50/50 on ALL of the other nine assignments (a pretty amazing academic feat, you'll agree), and ends with an A- (450/500, or 90%). She is barely able to get there. In fact, she has to get 9 perfect papers to earn an A- for the semester after skipping one assignment. Congratulations, you say. She earned it.

But if she had received a 50% on the assignment she skipped, she would have earned a 95% (A) for the semester. Can you really say she didn't earn it? And if she did, why are you offended that she got 50% on the assignment she didn't do?

Or, what if she gets 45/50 on all of the other nine (an A- (90%) on each one)? (Still a pretty amazing academic feat). If she gets a 0 on the skipped assignment, she ends up with a B- (405/500, or 81%).

Congratulations. You have just given a B- to a student who has been doing A- level work for almost an entire semester, with the exception of one skipped assignment. Nine straight nearly-perfect papers in a row. A clear mastery of content knowledge. No doubt you feel righteous about not letting her get away with skipping an assignment. But how accurate is your assessment of her abilities and achievements?

What happens to that student in a school with a 50% for missing work policy? She ends up with 430/500, a solid B at 86%. Again, that's after 9 perfect assignments in a row, clearly demonstrating mastery of content at a high level. How accurate is your assessment now? And is your outrage at her getting a 50% on an assignment she didn't do proportional to the difference it made in her grade, going from a B- to a B?

If the purpose of a grade is what I think most of us assume it to be--to reflect what a student learns, what they can do, how much they know, and how well they have mastered the content--both of these grades are abject failures as accurate assessments. That's because there's a cow here that's so sacred that it has become invisible: grading by percentages.

Why do we grade by percentages? Because... because that's how we do it. No thought, no rationale. It provides a handy number in a gradebook. It's easy to calculate. It's what grading software is set up to do. It's what people are used to. It's very easy to apply for low-order thinking skills like memorization or completely objective questions of fact. But it's essentially meaningless.

And using percentages also weights the F category in the gradebook 6 times more than any of the other grades, because there are 6 "slots" in the gradebook that result in an F (0-10%, 11-20%, 21-30%, 31-40%, 41-50%, and 51-60%). If a student gets a 0 on a skipped assignment, it's virtually impossible for that student to receive a grade that accurately reflects their mastery of content. What do we gain in return?

I find it interesting that as adults, we seem to delight in imposing draconian expectations for perfection on teenagers--expectations we would find extremely unreasonable in our own lives. Have you ever missed a deadline at work, or failed to do something you were supposed to do? Forget to wear that respirator one time while sanding? Skip handing in lesson plans to a principal you know was never going to read them anyway? (Guilty, sir!)

Did you then do perfect work for the rest of the year, only to have your boss say, "Sorry, you missed doing that report back in October. Even with your otherwise near-perfect record, that's a B-. Here is 81% of your annual pay. Enjoy it."

More later if anyone's interested. I understand people's initial reaction about giving credit for missing work. They're mad. They're offended by the "unfairness" of it.

They should be offended, instead, that the grades our public school systems hand out, and the numbers they put on students' work, are largely meaningless. In trying to assess responsibility and work ethic AND mastery of content with a single number, we guarantee that the number we end up with is, for many students, wildly inaccurate for both categories. And it's only a number--it tells you nothing about what a single student has learned, or what they need to keep working on.

Tom

The system seems flawed, but few systems are perfect.

Keith Wilson
09-26-2018, 07:46 AM
Actually, Wi-Tom makes an excellent point. The '50% for missed work', although it sounds stupid on the face of it, is an adjustment so that missed work is given less statistical weight when calculating an average. There would be several other ways to do it, but this makes the math simpler. An analogy might be the penalty for wrong answers (as opposed to blank ones) on a multiple-choice test to remove the incentive for guessing.

The larger point, that grades are supposed to reflect how well a student has learned the material, is even more important. In practice, this often turns into how measuring how well a student has answered questions on tests; one step removed. And simple averaging has perverse effects. Behaving like the system of grading was handed down by Jehovah on stone tablets, rather than invented for convenience, confuses means with ends.

I certainly don't have enough information to do more than guess, but I'd bet that the teacher was a jerk, and they're well rid of her.

John Smith
09-26-2018, 08:01 AM
My mom never had this problem in the public schools, but she taught for a while in a private school. There the teachers were instructed to give every student a 'c' whether or not they had earned it.

She chose to quit. Made me proud of her.

Breakaway
09-26-2018, 08:15 AM
I see the case for 50-percent with respect to graded averages although I'd submit that most A-plus students don't miss assignments. Doing the work is part of being an A-student and the grade reflects that work ethic as well the mastery of content. Apply the math to a D student and it tells a different story. The missed assignment (s) points to a big reason beyond content for why the student is struggling.

I also disagree with the policy on the basis that it teaches kids that nothing is worth something. It sends them into the world with a skewed perception of things. It supports the belief that they are entitled to something in any situation, regardless of their contribution.

Kevin

Ian McColgin
09-26-2018, 09:07 AM
It appears that I was not alone in overlooking Keith's link to more of the story than the OP chose to reveal. I am surprised at how generally productive the discussion on grading has been in spite of not having the whole story.

Vince Brennan
09-26-2018, 09:10 AM
From Rummys OP quote
Tirado was terminated on September 14 but there's no clause mentioned in the letter from the principal since she was still in her probationary period.

My bad. Thank you!

George Jung
09-26-2018, 10:51 AM
It appears that according to you everything I post is a troll. Cease the bs and call it George. Junk the false accusations.


Well, you certainly don't vet the stories you post. This one, for example, may indeed be utter BS; the link that Keith posted, at least, provided a response from the school administrators who contended that the teacher was NOT fired specifically for refusing to give 50% credit for work not handed in... they cited that there were other reasons.



Furthermore, the note that the teacher wrote on the board was HIGHLY unprofessional.... trying to get her students to take a side by presenting what clearly must have been only part of the story. That note was indiscreet

We see far too many posts like this: something that jumps to a political conclusion without any semblance of consideration for parts of the story that are unknown.


Quit acting like a troll, and I will quit recognizing you as one. It's not that difficult - and entirely in your control. Schweet!

Too Little Time
09-26-2018, 11:22 AM
They should be offended, instead, that the grades our public school systems hand out, and the numbers they put on students' work, are largely meaningless.
I find that perceptive.

I would suggest that the purpose of school is to teach kids to learn. Not to teach the specific subject matter. Although the subject matter matters.

Osborne Russell
09-26-2018, 11:45 AM
Make it binary, yes/no, pass/fail. The simplest possible numbers, but it's not the numbers that are the objection, it's the judgment. But a school without judgment is -- you tell me.

Gerarddm
09-26-2018, 12:56 PM
I think it is pretty simple: 50% is still a failing grade, but then again, awarding anything for not doing anything sets a bad example, and I am not in favor of it.

It may be that there are other extenuating circumstances, and that the OP is the usual over-simplified black/white kind of issue assessment so beloved by those losing the culture wars.

Rum_Pirate
09-26-2018, 01:31 PM
Yeah. The name 'Tirado' (tirade?), along with the rest, 'smells funny'. And it is a RP troll.... :P


It appears that according to you everything I post is a troll. Cease the bs and call it George. Junk the false accusations.


The system seems flawed, but few systems are perfect.


Quit acting like a troll, and I will quit recognizing you as one. It's not that difficult - and entirely in your control. Schweet!


I posted an article from an NBC source and commented 'really'.

You immediately say it "'smells funny'. And it is a RP troll".

It is pointed out by somebody else that the 'name' is real. But don't admit your 'bad'.

As to my OP, that's a troll? :dROTFLMAO:D.

You come across like sone sort of cyber stalker.

As I said cease the bs and call it George. Junkthe false accusations.

There's a good chap.

However, I suspect that you will post more derogatory negative remarks attacking me.

B_B
09-26-2018, 01:45 PM
.... released from her duties as an instructor because her performance was deemed sub-standard and her interactions with students, staff and parents lacked professionalism and created a toxic culture on the school's campus. During her brief time of employment at West Gate...
LOL!
My dad was fired from Westgate (not the same school) for giving a kid an F on an essay consisting of one line written on a napkin.
This was 1976, btw, so those railing against the modern era are misplacing their angst.

Rum_Pirate
09-26-2018, 02:00 PM
. . .This one, for example, may indeed be utter BS;. Although posted by NBC, it may indeed turn out to be "utter BS".
It was a topic posted for discussion. During which Keith posted additional information, which while welcome is what a discussion is about.


Furthermore, the note that the teacher wrote on the board was HIGHLY unprofessional.... trying to get her students to take a side by presenting what clearly must have been only part of the story. That note was indiscreet I don't dispute that. I just questioned the report in the OP with "Really?".


We see far too many posts like this: something that jumps to a political conclusion without any semblance of consideration for parts of the story that are unknown. You mean like the Kavanaugh matter. Minds made up well beforehand on political party lines and found guilty by accusation. :dLOL:d

John of Phoenix
09-26-2018, 02:47 PM
He wants to pretend that he doesn't have a well earned reputation as a troll. "We create our own reality."

:D LMAO :D

Keith Wilson
09-26-2018, 03:07 PM
I would really rather not discuss RP's habits, trollish or otherwise. We've been there, done that, gotten tired of it.

Again, it seems like the '50% credit for missed work' is intended a way to get around the perverse effects of averaging, and count completed work as more important toward the grade than missed assignments. W--Tom went into it in detail There would be other ways to do it, but this makes the math simpler. It may or may not be a good idea, but one can make a reasonable case for it.

Peerie Maa
09-26-2018, 03:17 PM
I would really rather not discuss RP's habits, trollish or otherwise. We've been there, done that, gotten tired of it.

Again, it seems like the '50% credit for missed work' is intended a way to get around the perverse effects of averaging, and count completed work as more important toward the grade than missed assignments. W--Tom went into it in detail There would be other ways to do it, but this makes the math simpler. It may or may not be a good idea, but one can make a reasonable case for it.

I read that post.
Would it not be better, if more work for the staff, to ask the student why the assignment was missed? Then if the reason is sound and good, allow them to submit late or risk a zero mark with all that entails? Involve the kids guardian in the conversation.

WI-Tom
09-27-2018, 04:52 AM
I see the case for 50-percent with respect to graded averages although I'd submit that most A-plus students don't miss assignments.

That sounds good on the surface, but you have it exactly backwards. Most students who miss assignments don't get an A+. Even if they understand the content well enough to deserve an A+. That's precisely the problem.


Doing the work is part of being an A-student

Says who? If grades are intended to be accurate measurements of what students know, then it's irrelevant how much work they had to do to reach that understanding. The "work" you mention, if properly designed, is there to provide opportunities to learn and practice applying new concepts. Some students can master content knowledge with very little apparent effort, and without doing anything but showing up to class. They may know it already before they get to your class. In either case, extra practice would be a waste of time.


and the grade reflects that work ethic as well the mastery of content.

And that's the problem. By trying to measure both learning AND work ethic with a single number, we get an assessment that CANNOT be accurate for most students. That kind of combined knowledge/learning score would be an accurate number only for students who do everything on time and show a high level of content mastery, or for students who do nothing at all, and don't learn anything. But for every student in the middle of those extremes, the assessment MUST, by definition, be inaccurate in both categories.


Apply the math to a D student and it tells a different story.

Does it? Let's take a look:

A student skips a 50-point assignment, then gets a 33/50 (solid D, 66%) on each of the following 9 assignments. With a 0 for the missed assignment, she ends up with an F (59.4%). Even though 90% of her work has been at a solid D, a remarkably consistent performance, her final grade is a full letter grade lower, and she fails the class. How accurately does that assessment reflect her actual learning? It's off by a full letter grade. But give her 50% instead of a zero, and her final grade is a 64.4%--a D. Hmmm. That is a near-perfect match for her consistent D-level work. An accurate assessment.

Now consider what happens if she earns an A (50/50) on one assignment, and 33/50 on the other 9. If she gets a 0 for the skipped assignment, her grade is a D+ ( 69.4%), not too far from her consistent D performance. A single A does not have the power to lift her grade a full letter grade higher. That's because, by giving 0% for skipped assignments, the system gives a disproportionate weight to the F category.


The missed assignment (s) points to a big reason beyond content for why the student is struggling.

No, the missed assignment points to a big reason why the student has a poor grade. But it has nothing to do with whether the student is struggling to understand the content.

For example, in my classes, students get a LOT of feedback from me, but relatively few grades. It's only AFTER time to introduce a new concept, watch it being modeled by the teacher, then working through it in guided practice with support from teacher and peers--only THEN does it make sense to have students work on an independent assignment for a grade. By then they have learned much of what they should learn, and a graded assignment exists only to give them a chance to demonstrate their knowledge so that the teacher can assess it accurately. A grade is feedback for a teacher as much as for a student--it identifies things that students have not understood so you can offer extra support or (if enough people get bad grades), to go back and re-teach it in another way.

So, a student can EASILY have excellent A level mastery of content and fail to turn in the assignment. Learning and grades have very little to do with each other. That is something that the public does not understand. Heck, most teachers I've worked with don't seem to understand it.


I also disagree with the policy on the basis that it teaches kids that nothing is worth something. It sends them into the world with a skewed perception of things. It supports the belief that they are entitled to something in any situation, regardless of their contribution.

You only think so because you haven't adequately considered what the purpose of a grade is, or the effects of giving greater statistical weight to F's than to A's. Look above again: which system provides a more accurate assessment of student knowledge--the system where skipped assignments get 0's, or where they get 50%?

The only belief supported by awarding a 50% for skipped assignments is the belief that students are entitled to an accurate assessment of their content mastery. I'd hope that's something we can all agree on.

Tom

WI-Tom
09-27-2018, 04:56 AM
Would it not be better, if more work for the staff, to ask the student why the assignment was missed? Then if the reason is sound and good, allow them to submit late or risk a zero mark with all that entails? Involve the kids guardian in the conversation.

That's standard practice with every teacher I know. Then too, almost every school these days (at least in the U.S.) has grades visible in real time via school websites. Parents can see what work is missing as soon as the teacher enters it in the gradebook.

I usually enter a (temporary) 0 for missing work just to raise enough alarm that students approach me to make arrangments to complete the missing work. I want them taking on that responsibility, not me.

Tom

WI-Tom
09-27-2018, 05:07 AM
A possible solution (in very rough form) that I have proposed for consideration at my school:

Divide grades into 2 separate categories: one for learning/content mastery, and one for work ethic (handing things in on time, bringing required materials to class, taking care of textbooks, etc.).

If a student knows the content, they pass the class and get the credit.

If a student fails the work ethic (even if they pass the content grade), they are placed in a required class or support team to teach organization, study skills, time management, note taking, using a planner, etc.

If we're really serious about it, we make it a formal graduation requirement to earn a 2.0 GPA (C) in your overall work ethic grades. Put some teeth into it in the short term (graduation), because adolescents are not renowned for their ability to recognize long-term consequences and act accordingly.

I'd be keenly interested in feedback about this idea. Thanks!

Tom

WI-Tom
09-27-2018, 05:21 AM
Behaving like the system of grading was handed down by Jehovah on stone tablets, rather than invented for convenience, confuses means with ends.

This is it exactly--very succinctly put. Sadly, that's the default setting for almost every school in operation these days.

Tom

WI-Tom
09-27-2018, 05:26 AM
I would suggest that the purpose of school is to teach kids to learn. Not to teach the specific subject matter. Although the subject matter matters.

Agreed--but research shows quite clearly that the best way to learn how to learn, is to learn specific content knowledge. In other words, learn the theory of how learning works, but then also move to apply that knowledge to specific content areas. It is in the actual application (i.e. learning actual specific things within each discipline) that students really learn how to learn.

Tom

WI-Tom
09-27-2018, 05:30 AM
Make it binary, yes/no, pass/fail.

I'm not in favor of that--it erases all distinctions between students who excel and students who barely meet expectations.


it's not the numbers that are the objection, it's the judgment. But a school without judgment is -- you tell me.

But judgment without numbers to back it up is extremely suspect, subject to bias, and unreliable. And that assumes the BEST of intentions in every teacher.

Tom

Too Little Time
09-27-2018, 12:22 PM
Agreed--but research shows quite clearly that the best way to learn how to learn, is to learn specific content knowledge. In other words, learn the theory of how learning works, but then also move to apply that knowledge to specific content areas. It is in the actual application (i.e. learning actual specific things within each discipline) that students really learn how to learn.

Tom
My comment was that the students could learn the material without being taught the material. There is a subtle difference there.

This week there was an article about how medical school is changing. The following description may apply to only one school or many. I did not remember:

In the past school work was numerically graded and used for selection/discrimination to residency or some such. And a standardized test was graded pass/fail. Students went to all their classes. The grading has since changed. The standardized test is now numerically graded and used for selection/discrimination. School work is graded pass/fail. Students are encouraged to skip classes and study on their own.

My wife and I were good learners. As were our entire families. As were many others I knew. I think it is appropriate to take advantage of that in schools. Teach those who need help. Get out of the way of those who do not. Set an objective standard that can be met by taking standard tests at the time a student elects.

There is really little reason for grades.

Breakaway
09-27-2018, 12:47 PM
The only belief supported by awarding a 50% for skipped assignments is the belief that students are entitled to an accurate assessment of their content mastery. I'd hope that's something we can all agree on.

Well, I would hope students get more out of school than content mastery. Work habits, organization, responsibility, the ability to speak up and be understood are all components of an education. The content, until you get to med school, law school, or a diesel repair class, is almost irrelevant. I would hope that the grade reflects all of those things.

Put another way, how many students can master content without excelling in those other areas as well?

Kevin

Edit:



You only think so because you haven't adequately considered what the purpose of a grade is, or the effects of giving greater statistical weight to F's than to A's. Look above again: which system provides a more accurate assessment of student knowledge--the system where skipped assignments get 0's, or where they get 50%?

You are overthinking it. The student gets something for nothing. That reinforces a sense of entitlement without need for output.

Kevin

Vince Brennan
09-27-2018, 12:56 PM
Agreed--but research shows quite clearly that the best way to learn how to learn, is to learn specific content knowledge. In other words, learn the theory of how learning works, but then also move to apply that knowledge to specific content areas. It is in the actual application (i.e. learning actual specific things within each discipline) that students really learn how to learn.

Tom
Actually, you almost precisely paraphrase my HS Latin teacher (PapePrision) in that the LATIN, in and of itself, was irrelevant, but teaching how to examine another language and see it's bones, or some discipline other than language and seeing the operation and foundations thereof was GREATLY enhanced by those endless and stultifying parsings of a dead and 'useless' language. (Also gave me a bigger laugh at "The Life Of Brian's" school jokes as well. Clees would have been an incredibly hated Latin master!)

Keith Wilson
09-27-2018, 02:18 PM
. . . the LATIN, in and of itself, was irrelevant, but teaching how to examine another language and see it's bones, or some discipline other than language and seeing the operation and foundations thereof was GREATLY enhanced by those endless and stultifying parsings of a dead and 'useless' language.Well, maybe - but if you put in all that effort with Spanish (a dialect of Latin, one could say) or Arabic, or Mandarin, or even Guaraní, you'd get the same benefit, and could actually talk to somebody what you were done.

WI-Tom
09-27-2018, 02:19 PM
Work habits, organization, responsibility, the ability to speak up and be understood are all components of an education. The content, until you get to med school, law school, or a diesel repair class, is almost irrelevant. I would hope that the grade reflects all of those things.

But your hope would be in vain. If you try to measure all of those things with a single number, your assessment will be inaccurate in every category.

The ability to speak up and be heard is pretty simple to measure objectively, and to grade. As an English teacher, that's part of what I do. That IS my content area (or a big part of it).


You are overthinking it. The student gets something for nothing. That reinforces a sense of entitlement without need for output.

On the contrary, you haven't thought enough. Give a student a 50% for a missed assignemt, and that student "gets" nothing except an accurate assessment. The percentages you are hung up on are nothing more than a convenient shorthand used to record grades in a way people have become comfortable with. Don't make the mistake of thinking the numbers have some significance in themselves. Their only purpose is to describe what a student knows.

It's pretty basic math to recognize that a 0 reduces accuracy of assessment.

Tom

Ian McColgin
09-27-2018, 05:34 PM
I love this thread, in part because I thought i'd be an HS school teacher or a philosophy instructor but ended up a very different kind of educator - a community organizer.

How to rate progress and what does that rating mean? Not at all a settled issue.

George Jung
09-27-2018, 06:57 PM
Convincing argument, wi-Tom. I disagreed, at first blush/ but you’re right

robm
09-27-2018, 07:16 PM
It is just a sliding scale. 50% now means zero.

Osborne Russell
09-27-2018, 08:12 PM
I'm not in favor of that--it erases all distinctions between students who excel and students who barely meet expectations.

Why is that necessary?


But judgment without numbers to back it up is extremely suspect, subject to bias, and unreliable. And that assumes the BEST of intentions in every teacher.

Tom

I thought it was numbers you were objecting to.

Paul Pless
09-27-2018, 08:21 PM
I love this thread. . .me too, so i pretty much aced every single exam and test and classroom work that i was assigned in high school and pretty much made a zero on every single homework or home project assignment during that same time

given wi-tom's scenario i would have pulled out a solid C or maybe a low B average upon graduation
instead i graduated 257th out of 262 in my class :D
bored as hell

college was a completely different ball game - somehow i excelled there - thankfully

WI-Tom
09-28-2018, 12:03 AM
Why is that [distinguishing between students who excel and those who barely pass] necessary?

That's a great question. My initial reaction is to say that a lack of distinction for achievement might be a powerful de-motivator for high-achieving students. Why work hard when it doesn't get you anything? But it may be another sacred cow ready for re-examination.


I thought it was numbers you were objecting to.

Numbers can be very useful in tracking results, as long as they provide accurate assessments. I mainly object to the phenomenon that Keith mentioned, where people begin to treat the numbers as something sacred, rather than a convenient measuring tool. All too often that leads to nonsense results that don't reflect what a student knows.

If I had my way (hasn't happened often as far as school policy goes), I'd try removing the numbers entirely. For example, I'd rather tell students and parents "_____ can write simple sentences and compound sentences, but still has trouble with complex and compound-complex sentences" than tell them "____ got an 80% on her essay."

I withhold numbers from student work for as long as possible--well past their comfort zone. I provide detailed feedback regularly.

Tom

WI-Tom
09-28-2018, 12:06 AM
Actually, you almost precisely paraphrase my HS Latin teacher (PapePrision) in that the LATIN, in and of itself, was irrelevant, but teaching how to examine another language and see it's bones, or some discipline other than language and seeing the operation and foundations thereof was GREATLY enhanced by those endless and stultifying parsings of a dead and 'useless' language. (Also gave me a bigger laugh at "The Life Of Brian's" school jokes as well. Clees would have been an incredibly hated Latin master!)

This was EXACTLY my experience with 4 years of high school Latin. I think Latin works so well because it is such a regular and heavily inflected language--it is very easy to see the structure. Not at all like English, where two-year-old children learn rules, apply them (Yesterday I swimmed in the deep side) and then have to learn why their perfectly logical inference about the system is wrong.

But Latin is not completely irrelevant--so many English words are Latin derivatives that it can really help understand the basic meaning of a word you've never encountered before.

Tom

WI-Tom
09-28-2018, 12:12 AM
My comment was that the students could learn the material without being taught the material. There is a subtle difference there.

I completely agree--many students can learn without being formally taught. All of them could, actually. Some do.


School work is graded pass/fail. Students are encouraged to skip classes and study on their own.

That's not been my experience at all in public schools in the past 16 years. Can you tell me more about what they meant?


Set an objective standard that can be met by taking standard tests at the time a student elects.

That would work well for a lot of students.


There is really little reason for grades.

Amen. Assessment of what has been learned and understood, yes. Grades, no. On that note, there's a school I visited/studied in Wisconsin (Waldorf school model) that uses no grades. Their students have no problems getting into colleges. But it is a highly self-selected population.

Tom

WI-Tom
09-28-2018, 12:17 AM
Convincing argument, wi-Tom. I disagreed, at first blush/ but you’re right

George,

thanks for the comment. I consider that a great compliment. I really appreciate the chance to explain my take on teaching from the inside, because a lot of decisions and policies that seem counter-intuitive (like this one) have a very sound basis once you think them through.

Hey, maybe we need a sticky! Someone in the Bilge changed their mind as a direct result of postings here!

Tom

WI-Tom
09-28-2018, 12:18 AM
The story with this kid had a happy ending. I was working as a middle school janitor, really organizing for the Oregon School Employees Union, with hair long enough to tuck in my belt. So this kid started haunting me. His teachers, including disgracefully enough the special ed guy, were happy if he skipped class and hung around me because at least he wasn't getting in to trouble. We talked and I got to realize that he was really bright, articulate, musically quite talented. He listened to Alan Watts rebroadcasts on public radio and we talked about spirituality a lot. So I gave him a copy of "The Book". Gave it a week and asked how he liked it. Took a bit but he finally told me he could not read.

We had a janitorial staff with more advanced degrees than the teaching staff. One guy with his PhD in library science had been RIFed from his profession, too old to land another library job, and so ended in his senior years pushing a mop. You know what they say - Ask a librarian. He ran me through a bunch of reading disability diagnostics. The one where you put a mirror on the table next to the book the subject is to read from to watch eye movement told the story. He could not make his eyes follow any text. After a bit of working on his mother, who was one of those Jehovah's Witnesses who thought glasses were wrong (which is not really the doctrine), I took the young man to a connection I had at the Pacific University op school. Turned out his problem was readily correctable and I had the pleasure of watching a young man take himself from illiteracy to a college reading level in about two months.

Kids like that in Oregon at that time - early '70s - were simply passed up grade by grade till they were old enough that school attendance was not mandatory. They they were cut loose. It's a practice that is actually in violation of several federal and state laws, but it's endemic.

By the way, Ian, what a great story! That is a REAL impact on someone's life. Good for you.

Tom

Too Little Time
09-28-2018, 11:15 AM
That's not been my experience at all in public schools in the past 16 years. Can you tell me more about what they meant?
If I could remember the link, I would post it.

As I said it was med school. I found it to suggest that teachers in front of a classroom might not be the best use of either the teacher's or students' time.