Re: Grade Inflation

1

Solution: Bitgrades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:22 AM
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Really? After all that pioneering work on school accountability in Texas under Governors Bush and Perry, this is the result? Shocking.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:28 AM
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"Well, what if he had it, and just didn't turn it in? Would that raise his grade a bit?"

The fuck???


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:40 AM
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I really don't understand where these kind of parents are coming from. I guess they want their kids to never grow up. There are all these articles about how 20-somethings still live at home, and I wonder whether that's what their parents wanted all along.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:44 AM
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It's a winner-take-all society. To be one of the few people who succeeds, the child must have literally every advantage.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:54 AM
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4: One of the things my parents mentioned repeatedly to me growing up was their desire to see me self sufficient and independent, and they made a point of encouraging me to do age-appropriate things along those lines. It completely confuses me how parents mollycoddle their kid and then expect them to be able to handle life. I had a roommate in grad school whose parents had so coddled him that he was basically unable to look after himself. His mom still did his laundry, cooked meals for him, bought his clothes, everything but wipe his ass. Needless to say he was one of the worst housemates I ever had.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:57 AM
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A friend who taught high school English in TX in a Houston suburb told me that her district's policy was that if students turned in work before the end of a semester (quarter?), the work would be graded without penalty. She found it incredibly frustrating to get (parent-written) essays in huge piles after finishing her regular grading.

But, TX is all about accountability, right? And raising standards.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:00 AM
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Early in high school a lot of kids really do struggle just with turning things in. I'm not sure what's gained by flunking a kid who has done the work and learned the material but still earned an f for lack of organization. Though obviously there do eventually need to be limits.


Posted by: Sand | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:01 AM
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And that's different than parents doing the work for them which is an abomination.


Posted by: Sand | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:03 AM
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S/t. Ma/rk's, I presume?

At UT I had friends who were told to improve grades for football players. You can all start fainting from the shock of that scenario I'm sure.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:03 AM
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Of course there is no class or race bias in the parents who do this kind of pestering of the administration, right?

I suppose this is why kids with "engaged parents" do better.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:07 AM
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Maybe we'll settle into a system where all the information is contained in the number of pluses or minuses after the "A".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:09 AM
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Do the schools where everyone has a high GPA at least do some kind of class rank or percentile or something?

Some people who apply for grad school from outside the US have transcripts with super fine-grained information, like grades on a 100-point scale for all their classes, which is totally useless because I have no idea if good performance in a given class is a 60 or an 80 or a 99.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:12 AM
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12: Reminds me of the line from the first scene of Infinite Jest, when the university admissions officers are skeptically reviewing Hal's transcript: "Most institutions do not even have grades of A with multiple pluses after it."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:18 AM
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This is something that always comes to mind when I hear "We should do away with the SAT because the GPA is a better indicator of success."

It seems to me that the GPA is ripe for this sort of gaming. Unlike the SAT or ACT, which is designed to delineate between students, the GPA is determined very locally (classroom, theoretically, or school/district if they interfere).

I graduated with a 3.54 GPA in the late 90's. I narrowly made the top third of my class. This was at a very good school and I was super-duper prepared for college compared to my classmates. Our GPA's topped out above 4, though, if you incorporated honors courses (which I did not take).

If you took out the non-academic courses, my GPA may have gone up. PhysEd hurt me academically more than physically.

A friend of mine went to a poor and minority school. She had a 3.1 GPA, which landed her in the top 10% of her class. No grade inflation there!


Posted by: trumwill | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:21 AM
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Maybe we'll settle into a system where all the information is contained in the number of pluses or minuses after the "A".

The bond rating sector has already pioneered the way here. An A+ bond rating isn't that great. What's really good is an AAA.

And really, why shouldn't student grades be directly comparable to bond ratings? Its all about making investments, right?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:25 AM
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Doesn't Texas still have that "top 10% gets into UT" plan (or something like it). So, maybe the deal is that to some approximation the high schools only care about class rankings, with individual grades an afterthought, so why not make them as high as possible so that the folks who don't get into UT can go to HeebieU or equivalent.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:27 AM
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Bond ratings are also nice because whenever Wall Street types express concern about grade inflation as a symptom of failing schools, you can tell them to fuck off.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:28 AM
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16 is genius.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:29 AM
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Maybe high school is the useless part and the grades a mere symptom.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:39 AM
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twice a year the administration asks him to commit grade fraud

My college's administration asks me to do this every single semester. It's not that parents are complaining, or just for athletes, but I think instead so that our core classes don't have a high failure rate.

(longtime lurker)


Posted by: Armitage | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:40 AM
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She found it incredibly frustrating to get (parent-written) essays in huge piles after finishing her regular grading.

I'd find the temptation to mark all those essays by the harshest fucking WMYBSALB standards pretty hard to resist.*

* I'm strongly temperamentally inclined that way, anyway.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:45 AM
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I wish I'd realized when I was in school how much administrators have an incentive not to fail students. Then I could have put even less effort into barely scraping by.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:57 AM
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re: 23

Were those the incentives when you were at school?

I don't know if they were. Certainly at my undergraduate and graduate institutions, they were fairly proud of how hard it was for their students to hop through certain hoops. High failure rates.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:59 AM
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Were those the incentives when you were at school?

They must have been, in as much as I actually managed to fall short of graduation requirements, and graduated anyway. They were willing to overlook that I didn't have enough gym credits and failed to participate in a sport senior year. And my last semester report card was pretty much straight gentleman's C's.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:05 AM
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That's high school, mind you. College was more unusual in that I pulled a Sarah Palin, attending 6 different institutions. Coincidentally, the college I eventually graduated from was the first one she dropped out of.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:07 AM
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5/6

That's like, 90% of children in China. Watching parenting in action often gives me rage aneurysms. OTOH, when the current generation of middle aged people gets too old to wait on their adult children hand-on-foot, it'll be interesting to see how 2-3 generations of mollycoddled adult-children look after each other.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:11 AM
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Have we all gotten old enough, we're all going down the "kids these days" route.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:13 AM
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re: 28

I think many/most of the kids in this country [the UK] who don't have parents of at least moderate wealth, have it hard as fuck, tbh.

So I'd be the last person to criticise them, and, I think, a big part of the reason exam results have improved here is that: exams are a much bigger deal for a lot people -- all or nothing, really -- so they really do work a lot harder, and the 'get off my lawn' types should, much of the time, leave them alone.

But ... the special pleading, middle-class, system-gaming parents are nonetheless real, and ... fuck them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:18 AM
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It's really more the parents these days than the kids.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:34 AM
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Do the schools where everyone has a high GPA at least do some kind of class rank or percentile or something?

I forgot about this part of the conversation!! So, like Halford and others said above, ranking is very important, because Texas has a top 10% rule get to go into the UT system, and the top 7?% get to go to UT, automatically. (The other 3% are guaranteed to be able to transfer after 2 years to UT.)

So, these schools with hyper-insufferable parents must keep track of rankings, but they have policies now where they absolutely will not disclose it, no matter what, and the only people who ever see the rankings are the UT admissions department, under strict confidentiality rules. No one ever finds out their ranking, only the status of their admission to the UT system. (Lesser snooty schools still do rankings and percentiles.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:46 AM
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In protest of that lack of transparency, Nebraska left the Big 12.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:49 AM
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A friend who taught high school English in TX in a Houston suburb told me that her district's policy was that if students turned in work before the end of a semester (quarter?), the work would be graded without penalty.

Yes, this! The entire school district, in various districts, will legislate that all late work must be given full credit, no matter how late it is. And that missed tests must be allowed to be re-taken, period.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:49 AM
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31. The HS in my UMC community does not do class rankings. It also doesn't do (official) AP classes outside the sciences, but everyone (by which I mean the usual target colleges) knows which humanities class are actually AP in disguise. Our parents are probably pretty high on the hyper-insufferable scale, too. I suspect the school will get away with it because the students get into the prestige institutions en masse anyway.

It (I am told) makes being a guidance counselor an interesting job, as they must provide this somewhat complex context to the schools the students apply to.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:54 AM
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33 kind of reminds me of a common anxiety dream where you realize that there's a class you never took to graduate from high school and have to go back to complete it.

Apparently in Texas that could actually happen. "There's a test I missed 15 years ago, you have to let me make it up."


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:54 AM
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That's an intensely Calvinist system. You can't know whether or not you're in the elect, so might as well act as if you are. Much like OG Calvinism, the not knowing probably produces hysteria amongst parents.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:55 AM
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Community college isn't actually hell.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:00 AM
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A minor point... wasn't the original Ten Percent Rule that you got in to any state school you wanted to go to? I know they modified it for UT because they were being overrun, but my understanding is that it applies to A&M as well.

(I'd imagine that other than those two, 10% would likely get you into any school period with or without the rule.)


Posted by: trumwill | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:01 AM
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Community college isn't actually hell.

I hear they have paintball fights.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:10 AM
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Oh hey, speaking of UT admissions...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:21 AM
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Maybe we'll settle into a system where all the information is contained in the number of pluses or minuses after the "A".

Ted Cohen (RIP) once said that he had opposed the introduction of plusses and minuses to grades at Chicago, and having received the argument that the five grades available without those fine distinctions weren't enough, replied "you still want there to be five grades, you just want them all to be As and Bs."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:53 AM
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21 - Have they implanted poison sacs in your bloodstream that will be triggered if you don't steal Dixie Flatline's ROM give everyone an A for effort?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:59 AM
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Irish secondary teachers have been striking because they do not want to be responsible for marking their own students' work for 40% of the official State Junior Cycle certification (not the Leaving Cert but the earlier one). Precisely because of this type of pressure.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:06 AM
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I remember that in Harry Potter, the main tests were administered and graded by teachers who weren't at Hogwarts. I suppose some place not fictional could try the same system.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:08 AM
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re: 44

UK exams work like that. I assume like SATs do? [I don't know much about SATs]

Anyway, A-levels and the like are national.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:12 AM
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The SAT very carefully avoids testing for anything related to content. Or it did when I took it. The 'A' stands for 'aptitude' and it posits itself as being able to acontextually measure just that by virtue of having you fill in bubbles with a #2 pencil.

I did really well on it, compared to how well I've done at actual shit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:14 AM
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Oh, OK. Well, UK exams are national anyway. No opportunity for system gaming in quite the same way, although people [and schools] still try to gain an advantage.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:16 AM
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University admissions based on something that is local to a school or district seems ... purpose built for being gamed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:17 AM
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I do think it sort of hurt me in applying to colleges. Certainly nobody in any college admissions office could have possibly known enough about my high school to know what my GPA signified compared to the rest of the pool. There were only 17 of us. I came in second to a guy who would later go on to invent an all-terrain wheel chair. I think I would have been first in nearly any other class my school graduated while I was there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:22 AM
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I see a remake of Drop Dead Gorgeous, only he competition is for valedictorian of a small rural Nebraska HS.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:29 AM
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We didn't really compete much because I was lazy and they never posted a class ranking ahead of the end of the senior year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:32 AM
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I see a remake of Drop Dead Gorgeous, only he competition is for valedictorian of a small rural Nebraska HSPrince Edward Island primary school


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:33 AM
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A minor point... wasn't the original Ten Percent Rule that you got in to any state school you wanted to go to? I know they modified it for UT because they were being overrun, but my understanding is that it applies to A&M as well.

Sort of, see 31. A&M may have a similar rule, but they aren't actually part of the UT system. They're a public university, but the UT system encompasses maybe 5-6 specific universities all under the same umbrella. Texas A&M has other universities in the A&M system. The 10% rule historically refers to the UT system.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:36 AM
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I remember that in Harry Potter, the main tests were administered and graded by teachers who weren't at Hogwarts. I suppose some place not fictional could try the same system.

This is the case for AP and IB classes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:38 AM
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Certainly nobody in any college admissions office could have possibly known enough about my high school to know what my GPA signified compared to the rest of the pool.

Not true. It is the job of any admissions dept in Nebraska to know about every damn high school, and anyway you guys were probably in a big, well-understood category of eensy-weensy high schools whose parents have a certain economic profile and live [this far] into the middle of nowhere.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:41 AM
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Right. I should have specified "any college admissions office out of the state". I think my high school helped me get lots of scholarship offers in state. But I was trying to go to other states.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:43 AM
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I was, and remain, allergic to corn pollen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:43 AM
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We all are, to some extent or another, Mobes. We all are. Glad you could flee.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:48 AM
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46- used to be aptitude but that too strongly implied innate ability. Last I heard it stands for assessment.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:50 AM
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Actually now it's apparently just a brand name and doesn't officially stand for anything at all, like KFC.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:51 AM
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Just like KFC.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:53 AM
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13: An 80 in Canada is like an A--but not top, top performance. A 90 or above is extraordinary.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:53 AM
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AIBIHMHB, MIT GPAs are on a five point scale, the reasoning I heard was that places that usually hire from MIT understand what a 4.5 means, and poorer performing students apply to places that don't usually hire from MIT where they'll be suitably impressed with a 3.5.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:54 AM
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24: Medical school in the US is notorious for being hard to get into and hard to flunk out of. (They have standards but they want to help you.)

Lower-tier law schools, on the other hand, often admit a lot of students and expect a significant minority to drop out--which is shitty, because they've acquired debt and nothing useful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:56 AM
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The girls school I went to for 5th-8th grade did not rank its students. They got a lot of kids into Ivy League Schools. (All the kids were very bright, I'm sure, since the school was selective. I'm sure that's how they got away with it.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:59 AM
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My kids' school provides an interesting opportunity to compare and contrast UMC Am and Fr parents. The state requires a minimum of 20% instruction in English for the school to be accredited, and by god they teach that minimum only. For the last few years (roughly equivalent to junior high school), the English teachers have given 2-3 written assignments to be done at home (book report or some such) at the beginning of the year, and then said once they were completed "Right, now I know what your parents can do, we'll start working on *your* writing." And the bulk of the work for the rest of the year is done in class. This has never happened in French classes, of any kind. Yes - there is the occasional kid who is a flake and/or the parents are obviously lending a hand with the homework, but the mass of parents are no way doing their kids' homework in French or any of the other subjects.

Seeing as this is a private school, although cheaper than any of the others in SF except for the parochial schools, I have never understood the motivation to do your kid's work for him/her, when you are paying through okay maybe not the nose but at least one nostril? What part of value for money do these people not understand?

The English teachers have been very fair as well about grading the kid, they can tell he's writing all the wacky stuff himself. If he asks for a read, of course we oblige, and then he takes or leaves our suggestions.

I am in complete and wholehearted agreement with 4 and 5. I adore my kiddo, he's just wonderful but part of that adoration is the desire to see him functioning as an independent adult! And those people in their 20s you overhear on the bus having at 9.30 in the morning what is clearly their 3rd or 4th phone conversation of the day with one or the other parent, reduced to discussing laundry, etc., my god I have been very clear with the kid that I do not want that. Love them all, kid and step kids, but no.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 12:01 PM
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My alma mater is open admissions, but they're quite eager to drop people who won't keep up. 'Come back in a year or two when you've decided to try for real.'

I don't have much patience for school systems complaining about helicoptering. If they didn't outsource so much work to be done at home, they'd not have half the trouble they do.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 12:09 PM
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Why use GPA at all, rather than class rank? Unless you have enough data to meaningfully compare GPAs from different schools, with their widely varying amounts of grade inflation, surely rank will give you a better idea of how the student will perform relative to their peers.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 12:12 PM
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I mean, obviously any important admission decisions should be based on some arbitrary, high-stakes, standardized test that I happen to do quite well on, but if you must factor in actual academic performance...


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 12:14 PM
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DQ: My cousin's kid must go to the same school as yours. E-mail me.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 12:54 PM
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Wow I hope your cousin doesn't do his/her kid's homework, would be awkward!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:03 PM
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If they didn't outsource so much work to be done at home, they'd not have half the trouble they do.

This is super true. I think the bulk of "the parents clearly did this homework" is actually "the parents have no idea how to tutor/help their child, are used to a frustrating routine when they try, and have gotten in the habit of feeding their kid the answer or mega-editing their work, etc".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:18 PM
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That and just the sheer joy of making a volcano out of clay.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:20 PM
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70: don't think so. The kid was a little genius at 5, probably smarter than either of his parents.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:23 PM
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As long as they can't read the high shelves yet, you don't need to worry about brains.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:28 PM
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74: what grade currently?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:32 PM
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Junior or Senior probably. But shoot me an e-mail.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:42 PM
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Mother is Russian. What are their attitudes to education. She's an economist.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:43 PM
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Mother is Russian. What are their attitudes to education? She's an economist.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:43 PM
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The SAT very carefully avoids testing for anything related to content.

Even ETS (the test publisher) hasn't made that claim for the SAT for a long time now.

The 'A' stands for 'aptitude'

Not anymore it doesn't. The official name of the test is the "SAT Reasoning Test". The pretense of measuring "scholastic aptitude" was abandoned years ago.

The strongest claim that ETS makes about the test is that SAT scores in combination with high school grades are a better predictor of first year college grades than high school GPA alone.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:43 PM
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Actually, didn't they announce last year that they were revising the SAT substantially to test specific content? I can't remember the details, but it sounded like a vast improvement.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:45 PM
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pwned by 60, but I added value.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:46 PM
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60, 80: I'm old. I don't know what they do lately.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:47 PM
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81: Kinda sorta. They said they want to link it more closely to the HS curriculum. What that supposedly means in practice is fewer obscure vocabulary words, more vocabulary words that you actually need to know to succeed in college (the examples they gave were "empirical" and "synthesis"). Math questions are meant to be less like logic puzzles and more closely related to the HS math curriculum.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:48 PM
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NY Times article about latest revision of the SAT.

Reading between the lines, you get the distinct impression that the motivation behind the change was less a change of educational philosophy than of business strategy.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:53 PM
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From that link,

The new SAT will not quell all criticism of standardized tests. Critics have long pointed out -- and Mr. Coleman admits -- that high school grades are a better predictor of college success than standardized test scores.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:55 PM
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I suppose first year college grades only sort of correlate with college success?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:56 PM
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Specifically, I'm thinking a great test taker/lazy student might do disproportionately well during their first year of college, and then droop downwards, while a terrible test taker/hard worker might underachieve while they get used to the new standards, but then will build up. So the claims in 80 and 86 could coexist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 1:57 PM
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79: re Russians & education, when there is an open studio at the ballet school all the American parents show up for the variation, but entire Russian extended families lo unto third cousins show up for the 2 hour technique class.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 2:06 PM
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88: No, ETS acknowledges that grades alone are better than SAT alone. The claim they are staking is that grades + SAT is better than grades alone.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 2:07 PM
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Specifically, I'm thinking a great test taker/lazy student might do disproportionately well during their first year of college, and then droop downwards
It's like you know me.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 2:09 PM
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This is a sympathetic NYT Magazine profile of the guy who drove the recent changes to the SAT.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 2:24 PM
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Specifically, I'm thinking a great test taker/lazy student might do disproportionately well during their first year of college, and then droop downwards

Sophomore year is a refractory period.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 2:28 PM
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Yeah, the ETS folks are just hoping to up their ability to sell curriculum stuff, teacher training, and other materials, aren't they?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 2:35 PM
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Part of my intro schtick when I taught test prep was to point out that parent income was a better predictor of first year college grades than HS GPA or SAT scores.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 5:55 PM
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95: Did you teach Princeton Review? That used to be part of their schtick: "The whole construct is biased anyway, so you might as well help heighten the contradictions and stick it to the man! Payment in advance, please."



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 6:52 PM
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I fucking hate ETS so much.* The scam that ate American education. Even their reformist current director can look forward to being trampled by stampeding bison in the new regime.

*yes, like apparently everyone else here I was a beneficiary who "tested well."


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 6:54 PM
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The LSAT is even worse, in that it plays an even bigger role in admissions and yet is even more game-able than the SAT. I guess there's some justification in outrageously biasing law school admissions process towards those able to pay money to manipulate easily manipulable systems, but still.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 6:57 PM
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Even their reformist current director can look forward to being trampled by stampeding bison in the new regime.

He's a former McKinsey consultant, so that outcome is kind of overdetermined, isn't it?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 6:59 PM
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97: Eh, I hate them. I tested okay but probably below a lot of the unfoggedtariat. My best score was the Test of Standard Written English which didn't even count. I always wanted to get into arguments with the people who wrote the reading comprehension questions.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:07 PM
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99: Seriously. I had a friend who worked for them, but they are a very narrow-minded breed--even the public-spirited ones.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:08 PM
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Boy, do I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I went to an Ivy that de-emphasized grades (once we were admitted), and I consider that one of the most important lessons of my life - that you should concentrate on learning the material, which is the real value of taking a course, and let the grades more or less fall where they will, hopefully reflecting what you have learned. That's a lesson I tried to raise my son with, which among other things, means respecting the teacher's judgement about what is an appropriate grade, unless there was a clear error or a change to the promised syllabus that affected him negatively.

On the other hand, seeing his experience going through school, and the experiences of some of my tutoring clients, has led me to question whether this attitude towards learning and grades is a luxury that one can afford only at an elite school where people will respect your degree based on the reputation of the school. It gets especially problematic when teachers start using grades as an incentive to motivate behaviors other than mastering the course material, while institutionally the grade is still viewed as the sole measure of how well the student has mastered the material.

And that's partly what's going on in the OP. I certainly understand that late work is a pain in the ass that requires extra time and effort for a teacher to grade, that it's a significant imposition to require a teacher to do a bunch of that at the end of the term for someone who didn't get the work in on time during the class, and that's why lots of teachers impose grade penalties, up to and including "will not be graded," for late work. But "got assignments turned in on time" is a significantly different skill from "understands and can demonstrate mastery of the subject material," and that's a problem if the grade is to be interpreted exclusively as the latter.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:37 PM
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ETS is the worst. Also they more-or-less wrote NCLB, IIRC.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:47 PM
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"an Ivy that de-emphasized grades"
So Brown, then? Because I'm pretty sure all the others are just as bad as high school. Maybe some parts of Cornell aren't bad.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:56 PM
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Meh. Safety schools.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 7:58 PM
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Cornell was, in fact, my safety school.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:01 PM
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Cornell is lots of people's safety school. It's pretty damn grade-obsessed, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:03 PM
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I wouldn't know. I was only there once and it was for a wedding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:05 PM
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Back when I was looking the various schools at Cornell had pretty different personalities so I thought there might be one less grade obsessed. Don't know if they're still so different.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:07 PM
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They have a nice little chapel/church thing for getting married in. Also, Carl Sagan's ghost.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:08 PM
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He doesn't strike me as someone likely to have a grade obsessed ghost.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:11 PM
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The undergrads I taught last semester didn't seem particularly concerned about grades. At least, the ones who were doing really badly who I talked to before the add/drop deadline refused to consider dropping the class rather than getting a bad grade.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:12 PM
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A little bit OT: My employer just sent everyone who works at our college a pin that declares "I


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:21 PM
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A little bit OT: My employer just sent everyone who works at our college a pin that declares "I [heart] Wolf Cub U" with a card instructing us to wear these pins all day on a certain day to create "an opportunity for [various employee groups] to demonstrate their love of Wolf Cub U." Given that WCU is in the middle of nowhere and everyone in our tiny village who is not an employee of WCU resents us as those fancy elite people from out of town, I'm really really not sure what this is supposed to achieve or why anyone would do it. Maybe I'm feeling a little too much like 9/10 of my job is telling everyone at every moment that I LOVE MY JOB. Recent criticisms, internal and external, have revealed some fairly serious flaws in operating procedures. Is this really how we fix them? Can I get a religious exemption from wearing my fidelity pin?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:21 PM
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109: They are, and grade obsession is one of the dimensions of variation, but I wouldn't say any of them are less grade-obsessed than average for the Ivies.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:22 PM
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Everybody resents me for who I am and what I've done to them, not who I work for or where I came from.

But, cornball boosterism does kind of play in that part of the country.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:27 PM
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Is that what this is? Some kind of Zizek-on-Kung-Fu-Panda thing?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:38 PM
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Other areas have different attitudes toward boosterism.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:39 PM
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I keep meaning to figure out who Zizek is. I've seen Kung Fu Panda, the sequel, and the TV series. It's not bad, compared to the options.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:47 PM
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I know who Zizek is, but I've never seen Kung Fu Panda.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:51 PM
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If Moby and I combine forces we might be able to understand 117.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:52 PM
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It's about a panda that does Kung Fu.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:53 PM
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He's a Slovenian philosopher.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:54 PM
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I mean, I know who Zizek is in a broad sense. Zizek is something Adam Kotsko tweets about.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:54 PM
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123: That's helpful, but I don't have a mental stereotype for "Slovenian philosopher", but "thing that Kotsko tweets about" is a category that I can use to reduce information holding and processing costs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:57 PM
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Based on a very limited sample size I have concluded that all Slovenian men have an above-average resemblance to bears.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 8:58 PM
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125: In accordance with 126, he also resembles a bear.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:01 PM
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Still not a value-added category. Kotsko tweets about Larry David.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:05 PM
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I admit I don't know much about his actual philosophy, but I guess he's some sort of Marxist. He talks about popular culture a lot.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:19 PM
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Yes. And he wrote a book about awkwardness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:23 PM
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Heh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 9:28 PM
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WHICH IS WRONG, as everyone will know once I publish my essay about it after rfts gets finished tearing it to shreds.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:02 PM
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OK, but am I supposed to feel obligated to wear this pin to work? WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:02 PM
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102: hmmm, when child was appx 12 he proactively told us he would be getting a zero on a physics assignment as he'd blown off the due date and couldn't get an extension. We said awesome for letting us know, a drag about the grade, do you understand the material? ok then, handling the due date is part of the assignment so better work on that in future. I think we added if it started to look like a pattern we'd "help" with keeping track of due dates - last thing he wants. So I guess we're doing a favor to everyone else's kid?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:05 PM
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Does the LRB publish Zizek? I feel like that's a name I associate with a certain "usual suspect" voice that I tune out in the LRB the way I tuned out discussions of the internal combustion engine and LPs of Bonneville salt flats races when I was a kid.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:10 PM
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It's supposed to exhaust your critical capacites into silence, AWB, like Pinterest.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:11 PM
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133: your boss. Sadly.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:11 PM
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I was once given a small plastic foam brain labelled "THINK" as part of a campus campaign to "increase environmental awareness". I haven't trusted "awareness" since.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:13 PM
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137: I bet her boss longs for critical silence more than the sight of a pin.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:15 PM
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I want someone at work to give me a foam brain labeled "THINK", there is no context in which that is not hilarious.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:22 PM
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What if you worked in a clinic for people with severe brain trauma?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:42 PM
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You could collect them. Next week, a small neoprene stomach labelled "DIGEST".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 10:56 PM
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95: If success in the system hadn't correlated with parental income, I suspect that the college system would have been torn down or worked-around a long time ago. Instead of investment bank recruiters asking for your Ivy League transcript, they'd be asking for, I dunno, your golf handicap and your Grand Tour itinerary.


Posted by: Scomber Mix | Link to this comment | 02-16-15 11:05 PM
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102

Mostly agreed, but "gets assignments turned in on time" is a far more useful skill in life than "understands and can demonstrate mastery of the material". And it is especially those for whom understanding and demonstrating mastery of the material is easy that often need to learn that particular life lesson, speaking from personal experience.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 12:13 AM
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144 gets it exactly right, alas.


Posted by: X.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 12:28 AM
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143 is totally right, and points out the extent to which the whole point of the elite US undergrad educational system is to provide plausible meritocratic deniability for the preservation and consolidation of power. The golf handicap methodology would have the virtue of honesty.

But wait, thinking about it, it's even more depressing these days, when the primary virtue of elite education isn't even a veneer of meritocracy on the old Harvard model but a veneer of technological "entrepreneurship" on the Stanford model. I mean every elite private high school these days has some goddamn robotics program or something where the rich kids are supposed to produce some marketable technological product that's financed and made possible by the wealth of the school and the wealth of the other classmates. Even better if it's "social entrepreneurship." If you (the rich scion of a rich family)and your best friend's billionaire dad market a high profile app that also supports well digging in Ecuador, thus maintaining both wealth, goodness and entrepreneurial vener, then you have succeeded, my son.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 2:37 AM
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Veneer!


Posted by: T"R"O | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 2:38 AM
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Veener, vidi, Vichy.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 2:41 AM
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Veneral.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 2:47 AM
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Venery.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 3:06 AM
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144: If teachers really believed that should apply to their class, then they ought to award at least half credit for turning in an obviously plagiarized assignment on time ("let's see - that's 100% for 'turning it in on time' and 0% for 'demonstrating mastery of the material', so that works out to..."). I submit that few teachers are in fact willing to go that far.

When it comes to questions like "who needs to repeat this class," there are serious problems with using a grade based in part on how promptly you turned stuff in as a proxy for whether or not you understood the material. I've mentioned my son's HS biology experience before in TFA on precisely this point.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 3:28 AM
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138: THINK has a long history at IBM. Reading the Wikipedia article I did not realize how long, apparently Watson started using it in 1911 while he was still at NCR.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 5:00 AM
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AWB should consider wearing a " I ♥ FLAIR" pin.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 5:03 AM
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surely discussions of the internal combustion engine and LPs of bonneville salts flats races are to raise your critical capacities on the subject of exhausts.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 5:19 AM
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She'll be able to find one more easily there if she scrape off the "RICK".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 5:28 AM
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||

NMM2 . Another good one gone.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 5:30 AM
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The opinionated academic has a student who actually has a d/octo/r's n/ote excusing him from r/eading e/-mail, which I think may be an olympic gold in the discipline of wanting special consideration at university.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 5:56 AM
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157: I've seen many an accommodation form telling me that I have no right to grade this student's attendance or ability to turn in work on time, due to anxiety. I'm sympathetic--I have anxiety. But you know what makes one feel a lot more anxious? Not fucking being in class or having any idea what's going on, and being behind in turning in all your work. Students who have this accommodation don't seem to realize that having the right to miss class all the time is just license to fail the class due to not learning anything. I've made a request that anyone who has this accommodation should be Skyping into class if they can't literally get there physically.

And amen to turning things in on time as part of what one should be learning. They report back from internships and first jobs saying that's the hardest thing to adjust to--that people actually expect them at places at certain times, with work done. It is harder than you'd think to make them see that not doing college work only hurts themselves, which is why no one gets that exercised about it, but on a job, people might be counting on you.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 6:42 AM
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So why do these brilliant kids who know all the material refuse to turn in homework? Or do homework and then not turn it in? Are they just too busy with their many important volunteer activities and internship? I never thought of that as an option when I was in school.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 6:47 AM
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158.1: Is contribution to classroom discussion part of their grade in your courses? How does that work if they don't need to attend?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 6:53 AM
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I've made a request that anyone who has this accommodation should be Skyping into class if they can't literally get there physically.

Would you be okay with that? I've been thinking about this a lot lately. What are reasonable accommodations for people who really are disabled but nonetheless quite competent in a lot of ways.

I met a couple of people who were so crippled by anxiety that they took time off from school and then took online classes. The goal should be to get the person back into regular classes, but is it okay to make an exception and count more of the online work than one might otherwise.

What about people who do very good work--do all the reading and get their papers in on time--but are overstimulated by the noise of a lot of classrooms? (Not so rare for some people with schizophrenia.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 6:54 AM
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I don't even understand the how or why of 157.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 6:57 AM
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Unless the student was in some kind of trouble and a judge ordered him to stay away from any computer connected to the internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 6:59 AM
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161: I spent a lot of time thinking about accommodations when I was a TA, and that seems like a completely reasonable one. A very common request for students who have trouble in classrooms is to have a designated note-taker using carbon paper if notes aren't posted online. Students like that may also take exams in what's called a low-distraction environment.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:03 AM
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161: I spent a lot of time thinking about accommodations when I was a TA, and that seems like a completely reasonable one. A very common request for students who have trouble in classrooms is to have a designated note-taker using carbon paper if notes aren't posted online. Students like that may also take exams in what's called a low-distraction environment.

I tend to think that colleges should be very accommodating when the student provides documentation and can articulate what they need to be successful. It's coursework, not firefighting or brain surgery.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:06 AM
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Ugh. I blame the snow.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:06 AM
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I'm all for reasonable accommodations, but I still don't see how you can not do email and still function at a university. That is, even if you get the professor to hand deliver papers, I don't understand what possible condition could keep you from using email but still let you do the work.

I wonder if the doctor isn't just fucking with the student or the university.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:11 AM
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Not having to deal with anybody expect through email strikes me as an entirely more likely accommodation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:12 AM
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163 is an interesting theory.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:13 AM
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I wonder if the doctor isn't just fucking with the student or the university.

I think if you go to a doctor and say, 'Task X is causing me enormous anxiety', you can probably get them to write you a letter asking for accommodation not to do Task X, for pretty much any X.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:20 AM
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If a student had to Skype into class because of a disability, I'd allow it. Though it's not the same as being there, it's at least an attempt to recognize that the course is going on and that s/he is responsible for the material. What happens more often is that the student thinks not going to class will soothe their anxiety for the day, and instead it doubles it, so they REALLY can't come the next time. I've seen about five different students just drop out of school altogether after getting an accommodation for non-attendance.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:24 AM
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I think this conversation is getting somewhat confused by simultaneously discussing high school and college. The issue of smart kids who won't do the boring assignments even though they understand the material is mostly a high school problem (where there's very little material but lots of classes which you have to attend and frequent assignments). In college it's much rarer to have students who genuinely understand what's going on but still go to class and learn. People who blow off assignments also usually blow off attending class and actually don't learn the material. Unfortunately it often takes them most of a semester to realize this, at which point it's too late to catch up.

I can think of one genuine exception of someone who nailed the final despite skipping most of the semester. More commonly the difference between a C and an F is that neither student understands the material, but the C student showed up and made an effort.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:24 AM
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172.1 seems optimistic. I'm pretty sure that most people who blow off the assignments and don't attend classes don't learn the material in both high school and college.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:26 AM
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In high school you have many students who skip homework but don't skip class. That's very rare in college where its much easier to just skip class. Of course in high school you also have people who just don't go to class, but I think even most helicopter parents would get mad at the kid for not attending school at all.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:31 AM
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167: I think for classes I taught, it would have been possible if it was just e-mail and not all internet. Announcements, notes, and old exams were posted on the course website. Grades were posted. Questions could be addressed in office hours or after class. Of course, it seems like the accomodation would make it harder for the student, but that's not the prof's problem.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:33 AM
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Sure. I was just pointing out that most high school kids who aren't applying themselves aren't doing so because they already know it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:34 AM
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167 I'm all for reasonable accommodations, but I still don't see how you can not do email and still function at a university.

Don't you know any professors with tenure?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:36 AM
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176 to 174.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:36 AM
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177: Medical school tenure, not tenure tenure. It's soft money all the way down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:37 AM
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As I understand it, unless you undertake an optional honours streem, American degrees aren't routinely classified; which is a shame, because the obvious thing to do in cases like this is an old fashioned aegrotat.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:38 AM
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I would think they would be even worse. You know, the angry shouting "why did no one inform me that [X] was happening!?!?" And you say "the whole group was emailed about it." And they say "no one told me! you can't expect me to read email! why did no one come talk to me!" And you say "the last time anyone saw you in your office was... about four months ago?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:39 AM
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176 - I mean, our sojourn in Germany this December was demonstrative about the degree to which I was attentive in high school German class, but I remember lots of doing homework for other classes or reading outside material during (mostly pre-AP) English, just because I was a quick reader and had already blitzed through Of Mice and Men or whatever while most of the class was still on chapter 6.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:39 AM
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182: Right. I'm sure that if anybody here was not trying in high school, it was because they got the material quickly and were then bored. I don't think that is typical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:41 AM
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It might not be typical, but it is common and is a contributor to why parents demand the kind of crazy rules in the OP.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:47 AM
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This seems like the appropriate thread to complain that my university has failed to recognize today as a snow day, and instead we're going ahead with some bullshit delayed-opening nonsense, which means I have a lot of shoveling to do if I'm going to go to class today.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:49 AM
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I'd bet at least a majority of those parents are deluding themselves. Always bet on stupid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:50 AM
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185: Just ask them to email you the slides.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:50 AM
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181: It may just be my group, but we get very little angry shouting and everybody is pretty good about reading the key emails (often after you call them and say, "Please read this email").


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:52 AM
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It might not be typical, but it is common and is a contributor to why parents demand the kind of crazy rules in the OP.

That doesn't explain why it should be indulged, though.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:57 AM
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re: 189

Quite.

'Fuck off and do the work. Kthanksbye'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 7:58 AM
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185: When your public transportation system shuts down completely, it's even harder to get places. The day where only the buses were operating was OK.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 8:00 AM
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. In college it's much rarer to have students who genuinely understand what's going on but still go to class and learn.

Is this a typo? I have tons of bright, conscientious students, especially in my upper level classes.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 8:08 AM
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192 was me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 8:11 AM
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179: Is that better than turtles?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 8:20 AM
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Not if you want regular cost of living increases that match the rate of inflation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 8:21 AM
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One strong argument against accepting late work, which I don't think has shown up in this thread, is that you want to grade assignments and get them back to the students early enough for them to get some feedback. If you give feedback to some students (which, in the context of classes like the ones I teach, usually involves posting a set of solutions to the problem sets), students who haven't done the work yet can use that information to cheat.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:01 AM
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196: It works better in the humanities.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:02 AM
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Even then, it seems unfair: if they talk to other students about who got good and bad grades and what sort of feedback they got, they have more information than the other students had about what's expected and how it will be graded.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:07 AM
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196 is a good point. I'd have assumed that it was obvious that solution-focused* assignments can't be turned in late for credit, but then this whole discussion is making my head hurt. Aside from genuine schedule conflicts (e.g. sickness or travel), the idea of turning things in late never occurred to me in HS or college. BOGF routinely asked for extensions, and my mind boggled at this (although asking in advance for an extra day is a whole other thing from turning shit in on the last day).

Sadly, for myself, what I learned in school wrt scheduling was to turn in things at the last minute, but not technically late, which is viable in the real world, but not ideal.

*as opposed to process- or knowledge-focused, e.g. essays or research on topics not covered by other students


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:09 AM
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198: First, this is why IMO sensible teachers will dock 10% per day late (or whatever rate seems fair). But second, I'm not sure it's a significant advantage most of the time, since most papers are being graded on some combination of mastery of subject and effectiveness of writing. It's not like, "Prof K/lman expected me to distinguish among Native American tribes" is some secret insider knowledge about how to write a good paper for him.

With today's obsession with rubrics, I think 2 is an even stronger point: AFAICT, every damn prof is required to explain in advance exactly the basis for every last point of grading.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:13 AM
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196: There's also the fact that students might not realize how much trouble they're having with the material until the first assignments are graded.

It's a bit hard to catch up if it's near the end of the semester before you even realize that you're behind.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:15 AM
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Frankly, the classroom is the professional environment for the teacher, and they can make rules that make it reasonably pleasant for them. Keeping track of 30 students' drifting deadlines sounds like hell to me. So, no.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:21 AM
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So is this kind of law going to make its way to the college level? If so how long will it be and which state will be the first to pass a law requiring accepting late work?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 9:35 AM
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Sadly, for myself, what I learned in school wrt scheduling was to turn in things at the last minute, but not technically late, which is viable in the real world, but not ideal.the American Way!


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 10:15 AM
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202 gets it right. My main reaction to conversations like this is to cringe at all the shit I put my teachers through. My only defense was, and remains, that I was being even shittier to myself.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 10:20 AM
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Oklahoma makes a bold move in the legislatures over-regulating school details.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 12:50 PM
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Holy shit. They really are make a play to en-dumb the future of Oklahoma.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 12:58 PM
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208

Still better than Barry Switzer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 1:01 PM
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Given that WCU is in the middle of nowhere and everyone in our tiny village who is not an employee of WCU resents us as those fancy elite people from out of town,

Not true! My aunt and uncle live there, aren't employed by WCU, and love it! (And I don't think either of them graduated from WCU, though one of their sons did.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-17-15 1:58 PM
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