Gas station without pumps

2011 April 6

Laws of grading

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 06:34
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Violating the Laws of Grading: A Repeat Offender’s Story is a blog post by a high-school science teacher about the “Laws of Grading” and how her students are resisting standards-based grading, which I have abbreviated here:

Law #1: Law of Right Answers. This law states that, for every right answer, an A shall be given.

Law #2: Law of I Can’t Get a B Because I Always Get an A.

Law #3: Law of GPAs
This one is more of a commandment to teachers rather than a law, and it states that, “Thou shalt not mess with my GPA and ruin my chances of getting into a good college, having a lucrative career and having a fabulous life forever and ever, Amen.”

The post is well written and captures well the frustration of a teacher trying to get students past rote learning.

As a college professor, I was a little offended by Richard Reilly’s comment that “The US college system appears to be a bit of a disaster zone.”  But then I realized that he was referring to admissions process and the circus that has become for high-school juniors and seniors, and I’m afraid I have to agree—though the blame seems to me to sit more with high-school counselors and teachers than with the colleges.  If high schools keep telling all the kids that they should be challenging themselves to apply to Harvard, it is no wonder that Harvard admissions are a circus (in the Roman gladiatorial sense).

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