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Thread: Calif. Student Sues Teacher, District Over C+ Grade

  1. #11
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    Re: Calif. Student Sues Teacher, District Over C+ Grade

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    ... Does a single missed lab make that much of a difference in a final grade? A+ --> C+? Was there more involved that lowered his grade than just the missed lab? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around two full grades for a simple single missed lab.
    In my high school chemistry class the last Lab before the final counted for 20% of my grade. I don't know how common that is, or if it's what happened here, but I know it's at least possible.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Calif. Student Sues Teacher, District Over C+ Grade

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    That story made me smile Maggie. Both for you and for the teacher. Great story. You were a little malcontent it would seem. But a clever one.

    When I taught high school government, it was a senior level class that every single kid had to pass to graduate and that was by state law. You could fail math or english or science or gym and still graduate if you had enough credits but if you had straight A's in everything else but failed Government you were screwed. And as you are well aware, all a high school senior wants to do is graduate and will run through a wall to do that.

    So on the first day of class I gave them all the course outline with a complete break down of how the grades are computed. And part of it told them about the state graduation requirement and how they simply had to pass this course to graduate. And it said something like this:

    Lets assume you get 100% on every test I give you.
    You turn in every assignment and it is perfectly done.
    Every time I ask a question, yours is the first had to go up and you always have the correct answer.
    You do lots of extra credit work.
    You have perfect attendance.
    You know more about government than I do.

    After all that you can still fail this class.

    The purpose of Government class is to help make you a good citizen. That begins in this class. A good citizen respects the rights of the rest of society and is an asset to it rather than a negative force.

    So in this class, if you are a bad citizen as evidenced by disruptive or bad behavior, YOU WILL FAIL. Your test will not matter. Your work will not matter. Your intelligence will not matter. You have failed the most basic of all requirements of being a good citizen and you have FAILED yourself.

    I then went on to explain that under the current contract, only one person in the entire state had the legal power to change a grade once it was given. Guess who that was?

    So I then had the kids take the information home and had their parents sign it and had the kids sign it.

    Every once in a rare while I would have to have a discussion with a student and hand them their signed outline and ask them to review the terms they and their parents had agreed to. But not often.

    Lots of learning was done in that class and many kids often thanked me for an environment where the buttwipes were not allowed to stink up the room with their usual crap.

    I wonder if I would get sued today for doing the exact same thing?
    This must have been some time ago because in most states you can't assign an academic grade based on a student's behavior. The two must be separate.

    It appears you included curriculum you created, (being well behaved) which is not part of the state standards.

    Instruction must align with the state curriculum, and assessment if there is one for the class.

    Today the principal would intervene by observing your class formally, and informally by conducting walk-throughs, long before it got to the point of you being sued.

    Here's two examples of state curricula:
    19 TAC Chapter 113, Subchapter C

    Note the verbs related to student expectations. The required essential knowledge and skills include analyze, evaluate, describe, discuss, understand, etc, but none include, e. g. demonstrate (a behavior).
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  3. #13
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    01-03-13 @ 12:13 PM

    Re: Calif. Student Sues Teacher, District Over C+ Grade

    It said that he had a 106% before the missing lab. So that lab was worth somewhere around 27-29% of the entire grade? That's awfully high for just one lab. I don't know anything outside the information given in the article, but I don't know many teachers that make one lab worth that much and then just don't let the kid make it up. Any teacher that is somewhat rational would not just give the kid a zero on an assignment nearly 1/3 of the grade for not being there. Call me skeptical, but it sounds like something more happened then just one missing lab.

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