Friday, June 13, 2008
Grades-to D or Not to D
Received a phone call from my favorite AP yesterday about 3 of my students who averaged out to 69's for the year. Kinda embarrassed about it because I thought I had double-checked that. He was actually apologetic because some glitch in the grading system did not average out the final grades for us. Pretty sure I can add multiples and divide by two however. Obviously I can't since I missed these kids' grades. See, we are highly discouraged from giving a 69 or even a 68. In all honesty, I typically bump the kids up that one point. One kid is Sped and I am OK with moving her up because I've seen progress from her. The other two have gone from pretty decent B/C students to failing this past semester. They are both in the same class and so hormonally driven to aggravate each other that they managed to antagonize the whole class. Both turned in their last project a week late which I reluctantly gave a 50 instead of a zero because it was a week until school got out. Both were given chances to do extra credit. Both were given study packets for their final exam which they both bombed. I don't know what other classes they failed or what good repeating the semester will do them but I just couldn't tell my AP to give them the point. He has been an extremely supportive AP and altogether nice dude. The fact that he called me to ask about it speaks volumes about some of the differences between suburbia-land ISD and Dallas ISD. He may even have to catch from flak from some parents who were duly notified with three progress reports and a phone call. Sometimes parents are quite civil and understanding until they actually see the grade on the report card. Hearing the word, Failing, on the phone seems to have less of an impact than seeing the grade on paper. My emotional "Love the Sinner not the Sin" part was saying that the easy thing would have been to just give them the point. My critical-thinking "Thou Shalt Not" part was saying that they didn't work for it or even learned the material enough to earn the point. I am second guessing myself today but I guess when I sub for summer school in July I might find out for sure if I made the right decision. Won't they be happy to see me.