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November 3 memo to teachers

November 3 memo to teachers


Once again, the Rochester City School District has instructed teachers not to give any grades below 50 percent.

Some teachers are outraged by this practice. Students who score below 50 percent likely don’t come to class, don’t do the work and don’t know the material. These teachers feel insulted that cannot give a true grade. They call this grade inflation.

November 3 memo to teachers

November 3 memo to teachers

But here’s the rationale. If a student gets a terribly low score, he may not be able to recover and the entire year is lost. Even if that student scores an 85 on the final exam, one or two semesters with scores below 50 percent could mean he gets no credit for the class. And let’s face it – 50 percent is still failing.

If there’s a problem with grade inflation, the more likely scenario is that teachers give the students who show up to class and do the work passing grades each semester. But when final exam time rolls around, the student fails the test. That means the grades throughout the year were likely not a true a reflection of the student’s knowledge.

My dad was my Course I math teacher at Marshall. He said on the first day of class that we would be graded on what we know. If we skipped class and didn’t do homework, we probably wouldn’t know anything. But his message was clear. He wasn’t going to be punitive to students who demonstrated mastery of the material.

Telling teachers to change grades certainly presents an ethical issue. In a district where fewer than half of students graduate on time, this is clearly an effort to make sure as many as possible get class credits. But even with the class credits, they cannot graduate without passing the required Regents exams. Those grades are the ones that matter the most.


Links of the Day:


– President Obama says the FCC should reclassify the Internet as a utility.

– There are multiple problems with Rochester’s study of red light cameras, according to an anti-camera advocacy group. Here’s another takedown of studies like the one the city commissioned.

– A D&C columnist was criticized for his use of the word “buffonery.”

– “What the world apparently sees is a woman lugging around a giant umbilical cord.”

– The Susan B. Anthony House is not happy with the use of Anthony’s name.

– Check out this awesome interactive map of Rochester’s trading partners.

Kodak has a role in “Interstellar.”

Sexy Syracuse University?


Tweet of the Day:


Bills tweet

2 Responses to Grade Inflation or Common Sense?

  1. What would your dad say, as a Course I math teacher, about the part of the memo saying a grade can be more than 100% ?

  2. November 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm Steve Bathory responds:

    Teachers being instructed to change grades is an “ethical issue?” How so? It merely reflects the incredible lack of ethical character and/or moral character of the Rochester School Board and its superintendent. This has been going on for years. Just has been graduating students who are functional illiterates. Grades have become a joke and diplomas are worthless.

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