Monday, March 27, 2006

The "A" and "B" Grade Entitlement

Eighth grade teacher Strausser notes that large numbers of his students now expect to receive either an "A" or "B" grade on their assignments simply because of effort:
"It seems that more and more students feel that they deserve A’s and B’s simply because they worked hard on something regardless of the fact that what was turned in was simply “average” work.

Now I am very carefully to set up a detailed rubric based on the specific instructions that I give before an assignment so that I know I am being as objective as possible. The problem is that so many of my students chose to ignore the little details like format, proper heading, 6-traits writing (yes even in a science class) and answering in complete sentences. And yet it is those students who come up to me at the end of the grading period saying “I just cannot come home with anything less than a B in your class”. I know this is a wacky notion but I think only those people who follow directions and put in the effort should receive the higher grades. But again, when did a C equate to “failing”?
There's more to read in the whole post.

I've noticed this disturbing trend in the California junior high school where I work. Increasingly, both parents and kids treat a "C" grade the same way that students a few years ago would have treated an "F."

This expectation that students should be given higher grades merely for effort must surely by one contributing factor to the "grade inflation" that has pervaded public schools throughout the country.
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