Monday, June 20, 2011

Credit Like This Shouldn't Matter

4. Please do not pass a student who fails the Regents exam unless they are seniors. Seniors should be given a grade of 65 or CR provided they attended class regularly and tried. Your own standards can’t be that low since every single Regents exam comes with a curve. Some people argue that just because a student fails the Regents exam, it does not necessarily mean that they know less mathematics than someone who passes the Regents exam. While it maybe true, no one will give us credit when a student fails the Regents exam.
The line I put in bold sums up one of the major problems with education today!  Why do we have to worry so much about getting credit?  How have we sunk so low as to make credit more important than people.

While marking, I skimmed many of the papers of my own students. checking out how they answered the questions I wasn't marking.  And, I felt a surge of pride as I saw them correctly make a table for an inequality with a slope of 2/3.  They listened and they learned.  I saw similar results on many of the other problems.  Are these answers good enough to get them the required 31 out of 87 points they need for a passing grade?  We won't know until the multiple choice get marked.  And, while some don't deserve a passing grade, shouldn't they be given credit for what they accomplished?

I had a large group working with me up until the start of the exam.  Before they left I said, "Feel proud of what you have accomplished.  Look at how little you knew in September and how much you know now.  Don't let a number on an exam discredit what you have learned.  If you don't make it now, I know you will be ready to make it in August.  I'm proud of all of you, no matter what the numbers show." 

All today's emphasis on test scores is hurting our kids. It shouldn't be our credit that matters but theirs.

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