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Pittsburg implements a floor for grades.

  1. Sep 24, 2008 #1

    Vid

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  3. Sep 24, 2008 #2

    JasonRox

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    That lowers the quality of education there.

    Essentially what the article is saying is to NOT hire someone from that area based on high school education. Therefore, your education is meaningless there... period.

    Failure is part of life.
     
  4. Sep 24, 2008 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    So if there are 4 exams, a student could come in and get a 90, 0, 0 and 0 and thereby pass. Wow.
     
  5. Sep 24, 2008 #4

    Evo

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    Fine, then at the end of the school year if they made no effort to raise their grade from 20%, then reverse the grades back to what they really are and flunk them, do not let them advance to something even more difficult that they will never be able to grasp. Pushing them to the next level without an understanding of the current level is only going to make learning virtually impossible.

    How do you spell "stupid"?

    I can't believe that people that dumb are deciding how to educate our children.
     
  6. Sep 24, 2008 #5

    Borek

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    Sounds like part of the "No Child Left Behind" policy.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2008 #6

    JasonRox

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    Huh? You can get 0, 0, 0, 0 and pass. Or you can, absent, absent, absent, absent and pass!
     
  8. Sep 24, 2008 #7

    mgb_phys

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    No problem, presumably they just raise the pass mark for the year from 50% to 75%.
    And your grade = (score/2) + 50%

    They introduced something similair in the UK for A level (exams taken at 18 to get into college)
    Due soley to the increasing intelligence of kids (and in no way to the exams getting easier) 99% of people passed (got an E), with about 50% getting A grades, making it slightly difficult for colleges to set entry requirements.
    So they subdivided the A grade into 5 sets labelled A-E, I wonder how long until AA needs subdividing.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2008 #8
    How is 50% passing? In my schooling 50% was a bad failure. 70% was like a D-
     
  10. Sep 24, 2008 #9
    Here's a quote from the article.

    Ms. Leonardi is wrong about that. Any student who takes advantage of the 50% floor once out of the four periods is precluded from receiving an A in the course.

    The goal of the program is to keep hope alive in the minds of students who might give up if they realized how deep a hole they are in. Surely the goal is laudable. But the implementation is bound to draw giggles. Perhaps some other implementation would achieve the same goal, but without the baggage. A score of 50 sounds like an outlier to me. My son has severe learning disabilities and does better than that. I don't think that self-esteem building measures are needed, but rather some kind of intervention like tutoring. Perhaps an evaluation for learning disabilities would be indicated.
     
  11. Sep 24, 2008 #10

    mgb_phys

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    In that case just allow them to drop the worst score.

    A similair problem happens with continual assesment, it was supposed to reduce stress for students since everything didn't hang on one exam performance. Instead it hangs on every single piece of work - screw up one question on one assignment and you wrecked your average with no way back. The solution was to only count the top 'n' grades.
     
  12. Sep 24, 2008 #11

    Moonbear

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    I think most schools consider 60-69.9999.... to be a D
    and anything under 60 an F.

    What Jason is saying is that if you score well on one test, you could not even show up for the other three, get an automatic 50% for those, and still eek by with a 60% D- in the course...a horrible grade, but enough to advance to the next grade with absolutely NO knowledge of the subject other than the content of one exam.

    I've always preferred a system where consistent improvement is considered. For example, IF a student improves their scores on every exam, consider dropping the first exam score. If it's just a first exam holding them back (especially if you include a cumulative final exam where they need to have gone back and learned that early material again if they didn't get it the first time around), that process will allow them to still pass if they took it as a wake-up call to study better and work harder. If dropping the first one still isn't enough for them to pass the course, then they have more consistently failed to master the subject matter sufficiently to advance, and should still fail.

    I've also known instructors who will just drop the lowest exam, no matter which one it is, giving the students the benefit of the doubt that they might have had one bad day happen to fall on a test day...not feeling well, too tired, dog died, whatever. I'm not as fond of that approach, because I've seen students do well throughout a class, and then not even bother with the material for the last exam because they know they have the grade they want based on the first few exams. This gives them an unfair advantage in their other classes if they don't have to study for one of their finals that everyone else still needs to study for, so have more time to study for the other courses. It also means they're more rested going into their final exams. More importantly, it means they didn't learn anything in the final section of a course.

    But, either of those approaches will give a student a chance to make up for a bad exam or bad day if they otherwise have their act together, without leading to a ridiculous amount of grade inflation.

    I think if someone told me I had to adhere to such a stupid policy, I'd add a course policy that students needed to pass a certain number of the exams in order to pass the course, regardless of their overall score. For example, if I gave 4 exams in a course, I'd state that they must pass 3 of the 4 exams. 50% isn't passing. We do this in our professional programs that have combined lab and lecture courses...even though they get one grade for both the lecture and lab component, in order to advance in their program and pass the course, they have to get a minimum of 70% on EACH part. That's so they don't spend all their time acing the written exams and blowing off the lab part, or vice versa, and eek by with a pass without having put real effort into half the class.
     
  13. Sep 24, 2008 #12

    Moonbear

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    I never thought that was meant to reduce stress, but rather to motivate them not to fall behind on their work to a point where they have no hope to catch up. If they know they have a quiz or exam every week, they won't slack off until they have an insurmountable amount of work looming over them for one huge exam that they then fail.

    I have had college students dig themselves into so much of a hole with bad exams that they reach that point of no return. For them, I tell them quite frankly that they aren't going to pass the course, so focus more of their time on their other courses, but still spend a little time on the coursework just so when they retake the course, it'll be more familiar the next time they see it so they have more chance to do well the second time around.
     
  14. Sep 24, 2008 #13
    So if I take a test in my math class on percentages and one of the questions is "Billy got every answer wrong on his math test, what was his percentage on that test?" If that was the only question on the test and he put 50% he would be wrong and would therefore have gotten a grade of 50% for getting every problem wrong. Which is right? Right?
     
  15. Sep 24, 2008 #14

    G01

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    I'm sorry. This is off topic, but I must point out a pet peeve of mine.

    I have lived in the city in question for a a short period and am bugged when people make the following mistake.

    The city is Pittsburgh, not Pittsburg!:biggrin:

    It bugs me when people forget the silent h!

    OK sorry for the off topic post, but it has been forever since I have had any time to visit PF, so I was looking for an excuse to say hi to everyone. HI!:smile:
     
  16. Sep 24, 2008 #15

    Evo

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    Hi to my favorite french fries!!!! How's it going? WE MISS YOU!!!!!
     
  17. Sep 24, 2008 #16

    jtbell

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    Oh, really? :devil:
     

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  18. Sep 24, 2008 #17

    Gokul43201

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    :rofl:

    PS: I think this idea is terrible.
     
  19. Sep 24, 2008 #18
    It looks like another form of social promotion. It keeps the younger ones from getting to big for the seats.:grumpy:
     
  20. Sep 24, 2008 #19

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: If you're in Pittsburgh, we should meet up sometime! AFTER the Backyard Brawl when I can talk to people from Pitt again anyway. :biggrin: Maybe some weekend in November or December when I head up to the malls for my Christmas shopping.

    Okay, back to our regularly scheduled bashing of Pittsburgh's schools (I think it's required by my employment contract anyway :biggrin:).
     
  21. Sep 25, 2008 #20

    G01

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    Unfortunately, I'm not in Pittsburgh at the moment, I'm in Scranton, PA (the center of the politcal universe, according to NBC!) where I actually go to school. If I end up at Pitt for grad school we should meet up MB! On a side note, my brother does go to Pitt and I am sure he is looking forward to the backyard Brawl!

    To Evo:

    Things are going well, but I'm stressed with the grad school application process, mostly by the Physics GRE at this point. I still try to pop in every now and then, but I don't have much free time.:sad: I miss talking to everyone here. Hopefully, I'll be able show my face on PF at least on a weekly basis. Also, once the GRE is over and done with I should have more free time.
     
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