kitchen table math, the sequel: games people play

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

games people play

the Exo thread has comments on grade deflation, which Exo has not seen in the schools she teaches in:

In fact, I've being teaching for 6 years now. Of course, I have not being teaching in really Upscale schools - but I have not met a teacher yet who actually would want to lower the grade of a student; in fact, most of us are looking to bring the grades up... Many are afraid that students failing will result in the very least with a talk with the supervisor (and that's a no-no for a untenured teacher) or other unpleasant consequences - for the teacher, not for the student.

So, there come in poster projects in HS, HW crossword puzzles, in class time spent on making PPt presentations etc... The grades must go up - to cover for HWs never done, tests failed, quizzes missed..
We're exactly the opposite.

The scores are always high no matter what the school does (high relative to scores from urban/rural areas), and the parents are PITAs [in eyes of admin] and the school needs a way to keep students out of Honors/AP ....

Princeton, btw, has a formal policy of grade deflation.

At the end of the semester, professors have to limit the number of As they assign as final grades, even if students have been getting As all semester.

That's Princeton. Super-expensive, super-achieving students.

Grade deflation.
All too true! There's a push to cap the top grades and an easy way to do that is to demand the impossible of and/or downgrade the work of the top students, because "they could do better than this." Of course, by doing group projects (teacher chooses groups, of course), lower-achieving kids can be given top grades for work done wholly by the top kids, who don't want to risk a lower grade by letting others do the work. And the gap vanishes! There are lots of similar games...

SAT Verbal Tutor:
Wellesley now has a formal grade deflation policy as well (at least in 100- and 200-level classes; upper level seminars don't have a cap). I know that a lot of professors felt like they were backed into a corner because of it -- in the past, they would have been generous to an A-/B+ student whose grades rose throughout the semester, but after the policy was implemented (after I graduated), they had no choice but to grade down because they didn't want the administration on their case.
winner-take-all schools ALL POSTS

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