I need to know if this is common for middle school. Work gets done, stays in portfolios at school and then comes home at the end of the year. It's too late to learn from the material or to question the result. One of those portfolios came home with my son today. It was for a thematic project that covered many subjects and was completed months ago. He had to give himself a rubric grade,so he gave himself a 4 out of 5. I'm sure his friends gave themselves a 5.
However, our school uses a nonlinear rubric grading system where a 5 is something like an A+, or more, if you ask some teachers. He brought home a final test today where he got 128 out of 130 questions correct. He got a 4. The teacher told them that only those (one student) who got a perfect score received a 5. On top of that, they are not allowed to bring home the test, just the first page of the answer sheet showing the grade. Parents have to sign this page and send it back. In math, the teacher wasn't going to tell them their grades on the final. They had to ask. And forget about seeing the test or bringing it home. Apparently, they reuse tests. I find that astounding.
I told the principal earlier in the year, in a firm but nice way, that I want all homework and tests graded in a timely fashion and sent home. Apparently, that can't or won't happen. I also asked her about some related impossible 5 issues and grades and she said that it really doesn't matter. The high school won't know about the grades. Ha, ha, ha.
Then there are issues with teachers using grades as weapons against kids. They tell the class who got what grade. This isn't across the board, just selective. The school makes a big deal about their bullying policy, but they should add a section on bullying by teachers. My son didn't want to bring in a note for PE class due to a sore ankle because the gym teacher would call him a baby. He's seen it happen to other kids. That reminds me. That low/high ropes session he went to a while back wasn't about teambuilding. It was about boot camp work versus punishment. It was at a National Guard facility. All of the kids were given stupid names by the drill sergeants and had to do push-ups if they did something wrong. They had to do things in teams just like how new recruits have to do things in teams.