Okay, I took the advice I've been hearing for quite a while. Don't take grades on homework. So this quarter I have taken grades on classwork, tests and since I have felt the need to hold students accountable, I have taken completion grades on homework but made them not count for many points. OMG! About eight of my twenty-four have made honor roll compared to the other class's nineteen out of twenty-three!
The prince has said in the past that he doesn't understand why grades are so high but our state scores are so low. (1/2 my class that failed the math state test last year.) He and I discussed my change at the start of the year but I'm so frightened of the heat I'm probably going to take! I have a feeling that I'll get hear it from not only the parents but also from the prince (even though he knew)!
Any words of advice for me? Maybe some consolation? Did I do wrong?
You could try hitting the STOP button--or does that not show up if you're not signed in?
Anyway, I don't mind that you posted in the wrong place, though I don't have much advice. I can give you my opinion, though.
"Honor roll" isn't much of an honor if 19 out of 23 students are on it. If the eight students in your class truly earned it, they deserve the "honor."
I would support you, not that that matters. Sorry.
I think you are doing the right thing. As long as you explained the grading policy at the beginning of the year, no one has any grounds for complaining. (That's not to say they won't, of course.) If you have the documentation to back up your students' grades, then you have nothing to worry about.
Believe me, you are doing the students a favor by holding them accountable for their performance.
One caveat, though: If the rest of the students are failing your class, you do need to re-evaluate your strategies. Since it doesn't sound as though that is the case, I don't think you did anything wrong. I think you did something right.
I agree that honor roll is not usually something that like 85% of the class makes. I think 8 is probably a fairly accurate representation.
If you guys have been taking grades on homework in the past, how do you know it was actually the studentʻs work? Iʻm guessing the grades might have been inflated in part because of taking homework grades.... and that falls in line with what the principal says about the high grades, but the low state scores. Perhaps your grades will more accurately reflect test scores.
In our school, we had big issues with that inflation of grades. Kids were getting As in our high school, but bombing state tests and not being accepted into colleges, etc. Turns out, after some inspection, the grades were really inflated. I know there are kids who do well in class but not well on standardized tests, but to have such a discrepancy with such a large percentage of a class might be indicative of something other than normal test fright.
I think you did the right thing, from what you said. I hope you donʻt get any flak for this.
Like you--I do count homework--but just a "done and turned in on time" grade. (Not many points.) We basically only have reading/math homework anyway. The reading--they get the points if they read their assigned time. The math--I have a copy of it and they get credit if it's done. It's not a large percentage of our grade since I have no idea how much help they are getting at home. All other homework is studying for tests or special projects.
Personally, I think for one third of the class to be on the honor roll is great--particularly since you have so many that are not up to standards. The other class seems to have too high of a percentage unless it's an exceptional class--and sounds like from your principal's comment, it's not.
My advice--Stick to your guns! The grade inflation that is so rampant doesn't do anyone any favors. Mediocre performance will not earn an "honor roll" in the real world!
I am assuming that you teach elementary school. Our schools used to inflate grades up to the fifth grade. Such things as offering 15 extra points for the bonus on a spelling test, that kind of thing. I teach at the Jr. High and we do not inflate grades AT ALL. A bonus is worth 5 points at the most, and they do not appear on every test.
So...most of the fifth graders were appearing on the honor roll, but only a few were on the honor roll when they arrived at 6th grade. When the parents asked for an explaination we had to give them one, and the grade inflation was part of the problem.
Now the fourth and fifth graders are graded more to scale. Their grades are now in line with their state test scores, and more children are receiving the remediation they need.
Stick to your guns. Don't give in. Now that you know what they are capable of you can properly help them.