kitchen table math, the sequel: Honor without Honor

Friday, January 11, 2008

Honor without Honor

Our local Middle School (Grade7 & 8- Monroe, CT) publishes the names of students who make up the honor and high honor roll each semester.
It's a long list.
Actually, it is so long that I decided to count them. It turns out that 69% of the student population is either an honors or high honors student.
What was that quote about everyone being above average? Either that or Monroe is the new Lake Wobegon.
Has anyone else seen such a blatant example of "the walk to the center"? Or I am missing a big piece of this somehow?

10 comments:

lori said...

Our local school district has 3 levels of honors in the 3rd-8th grade range.

SCHOLARS LIST …All A’s in five (5) academic subjects (Language Arts/Reading, Mathematics (or Advanced Math/Algebra), Social Studies, Science, Foreign Language) and no U’s in conduct.
PRINCIPAL’S LIST…A minimum of three (3) A’s and B’s in remaining academic subjects and no U’s in conduct.
ACHIEVEMENT LIST…A minimum of all B’s in all academic subjects.

(Reading and/or Foreign Language will be counted for honors consideration.)

In order to be placed on one of the above Honor’s Lists, students may not receive lower than a C in any "special subject" (i.e. Art, Music, ….)

Advanced Mathematics/Algebra class is a regular math class. The grade is not "weighted" any differently. Thus, an A=A and a B=B.

Anonymous said...

That's the way it is with our middle school. A kid has to practically flunk not to make one of the three levels.

SusanS

lori said...

I'm a homeschooler and don't care for grades, honor rolls, etc., anyway (especially with elementary-aged kids), but it does seem many schools are trying to put as many kids as possible on the honor roll, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Tex said...

During my son’s last year in middle school, about half the eighth graders qualified for the National Junior Honor Society.

Every year during our high school’s awards ceremony, it seems like about half of all students receive some type of award. I’ve noticed that a good percentage of the awards are subjective in nature, such as an award for a “deep appreciation for history”. That recipient may not have known a “G-D thing” about history, but at least he appreciated it.

LynnG said...

Depends on what the purpose is.

The purpose here is to promote "equity" and "opportunity." Rewarding excellence or motivating kids to achieve at a higher level takes a back seat to self-esteem and equity issues.

I'm not being cynical. Our principal and superintendent will tell us how important equity and self-esteem is in their decision-making. Parents that want excellence to play in are labeled "elitist" or "pushy."

Catherine Johnson said...

I should ask how many kids are on the Honor Roll at the middle school.

C. has never been on it and never will be on it -- unless we get into some SERIOUS, BIG-TIME afterschooling in the next two quarters (which we will).

Bs & the occasional C in accelerated math & Earth Science keep him out of the running.

"Math Dad" once sent an email to the administration saying there were a number of kids in C's boat.

Catherine Johnson said...

I believe that we have grade deflation not grade inflation.

I've certainly experienced it (and I know others have, too.)

nbosch said...

I tease my students all the time and say "in this class there is no trophy for seventh place". They know that getting grades, awards, etc for work that is not a challenge is a hollow victory. Elementary kids sports are the worst--giving out trophies at the pizza party even though the team didn't win a game. Last year a student brought in a mauve ribbon he recieved at a math competition....for 19th place!! We got a laugh out of that, I didn't even know you could get ribbons printed for 19th place.

LynnG said...

I'm no good at links in the comments, still this one is worth listening to:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5605461

It's Barack Obama on "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" from August 2005 where he explains why he is against 8th grade graduation (and preschool graduation).

Worth the listen, it's pretty funny.

concernedCTparent said...

That was definitely worth a listen. Thanks for sharing!