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Results for Survey #79: Grading Regulations - Submit your COMMENTS
Submit your COMMENTS on the proposed revisions to the administrative regulation regarding the school syatem's grading procedures. OPTIONAL: Include your name and contact information Datetime
If the students are to be prepared for college, giving students a 50% because they tried on an assignment is NOT preparing them for real world college classes or employment. An employer is not going to want to hear excuses as to why a job wasn't completed the way the employer thought it should be. We are only setting our students up for frustration if we don't prepare them for the real world. It is time to hold the students accountable for their work effort not pad the grades to make sure they pass.   2012-04-27 10:17
Please PLEASE empower our teachers and stop allowing the students to have multiple chances at improving POOR work. My son is a freshman at South River High and if he earns a D, then I want him to receive a D -- not allow him an additional opportunity to improve that grade by redoing that assignment. Life doesn't behave in this manner -- and we shouldn't have measures in place that re-inforce this behavior. If I consistently do 60% of my job to the satisfaction of my employer, I LOSE MY JOB. Brad Porter - brad.a.porter@gmail.com 2012-04-27 11:09
I just helped our AP Calculus Math teacher administer an ETS field test for AP Calculus. One of our AVID STUDENTS scored the highest. The Math DC's first comment was, "This would not have happend to this student without the Standards Based Grading system." I applaud this move. Debra Curdts, STC of Southern High 2012-04-27 11:39
I did not read the proposed revisions, but I have a commnet about the system in general. Some of the private schools use Snap Grades, which lists the students, marks, daily homework marks, submission of homework daily, new homework daily --- and I do not understand why something like this is not instituted in the public schools. Blackboard is not mandatory and is not as efficient a system as Snap Grades. At least someone could look at it and then say Blackboard is better, or use it daily.   2012-04-27 12:03
Reading level codes need to be explained and the criteria used to determine's ones code given beginning in grade 1 by the teacher. Susan Farrell PPW int eh county 2012-04-27 12:23
1. Giving students any points that they did not earn is dishonest. Don't even try to say that it makes it similar to the former system because in the past students did not have these elaborate re-do opportunities! 2. In fact, the re-do policy is making a lot of students very lazy and actually slowing down learning. 3. Re-do opportunities should be provided based on the teacher's judgment. Teachers know who just hasn't bothered to study and who learns a bit slower than others. 4. The BOE seems determined to take away any authority that the classroom teacher had in the past. 5. Many parents seem to care more about the grade than the learning. The BOE is putting way too much control in the hands of parents. 6. When a student earns a zero, it should zap the grade big time. A zero is academic nature's way of saying it's time to go for help, I need a tutor, or I need to get into a different class. 7. Anne Arundel County is very wrong not to let students fail. We learn from our errors. As a group we seem to fear that if a student fails, he may drop out. Well, if we pass him/her along without the appropriate skills and habits of success, we're insuring that will happen anyway. 8. I have taught for 39 years in Anne Arundel County. The standards are dropping although statistics are used to make things look better. If many of us hear the word "rigor" from the BOE again, we may get ill. There is a disconnect between what you say about rigor and the grading policy. Many teachers feel the same way I do, but they are terrified of retribution.   2012-04-27 12:36
It seems that the students are given too many chances to get an activity correct. And if there is a deadline, then that should be it as far as a grade goes. They are not experiencing life in the real world by giving them extra chances to do what they should have already done. What's with all the do-overs? If they fail because they don't pay attention or just don't complete an assignment, that's too bad. It's called following directions and doing what you are told. Teach them to be productive members of society, not someone always expecting to get what they want when they want it. It's time the students were held accountable for their own actions.   2012-04-27 12:55
More specific guidelines for retention/promotion in the elementary grades should be given.   2012-04-27 13:27
There is no guidance regarding evaluation of students receiving special education services. They often have modified curriculum, reduced workload, accommodations, etc.   2012-04-27 13:29
Phew -- lot of work went into this! I think high school homework should count more than 10%; otherwise, why would students bother completing those assignments? Especially if it takes them 90 mins a night (your estimate). Recommend 20% or more. WHMahan, acercorner@aol.com 2012-04-27 16:03
These revisions reflect the Common Core Standards well. However, they do not match the "standards based" grading occuring in many math departments. These practices do not include anything but test results, which are not always fair and equitable methods of assessing students. Often these are "pop" quizzes. They do not account for student class work Students start the sememester with a rather low grade and increase as they master content. This is extremely confusing to students and parents alike. In my opinion, the grading regulations should explicitly address these practices.   2012-04-27 19:33
In my opinion grading students with percentage helps,except for their grade level. Students in different levels of learning should not get the same grading. Its harder for a student in average classes to earn an A,and harder for above average.Its not fair that a student in average classes could have a GPA of 4.0 and another in lower levels the same 4.0.even for the diploma to be earn the same regardless of the different levels.   2012-04-28 06:31
Shouldn't there be a mention of a teachers responsibility to include special education and 504 accommodations in their grading practices. For instance if an adhd student needs extra time to complete work then that practice should differ from their regular policies etc. Why are we allowing high schools to weight homework for current students at 20%   2012-04-28 15:06
As a parent who had a disorganized children who would have greatly appreciated B.2.b.7.a and B.2.b.B.8, I think these go too far and discourage students from turning in their work on time. I am a huge fan of giving some credit for late work, so the idea of a due date and deadline I think is a good one. But after the deadline, the score should be zero. Between the due date and deadline, it should be only 50% of what it would have earned had it be turned in on time. That way, the students who completed the work by the due date but just forgot to bring in the assignment, or can't find it when the teacher asks for it because it is stuffed in their coat pocket because they put it there when they dug something else out of their binder because they didn't want it to fall on the ground...(my daughter!) - will end up with scores from 25 to 50 (assuming a minimum score of 50 on the due date for good faith effort). To me, that seems plenty fair - and much better than a zero! - yet still gives the students appropriate motivation to turn in it by the due date. As is, there is strong motivation for most students to deliberately hang onto each assignment longer, either to work on it more to make it better, or to suit their personal schedules. ("But it's an important game Monday night, so I'll just work on this Tuesday instead, I don't care about losing 10%"). Now if that's the real goal - to get the work in by the deadline with just a few turning it in by the due date - then be honest about it and just give extra credit for turning work in early. Let's not pretend that it's a real due date. Sharon Munns szmunns@comcast.net 2012-04-29 07:31
I believe 2nd grade should have letter grades as in 3rd grade. 2nd graders are asked to take benchmarks and performance at a rigorous level. The current CD, PR grading system does not accurately reflect the work being done at the 2nd grade level.   2012-04-29 19:27
As a high school teacher of a state tested course, I am more than a little concerned over these proposed grading guidelines. I agree with the need to have a centralized/common grading practice/policy and support the efforts in doing so. I think it's perfectly acceptable to have an administrative policy put forth. However, I am vehemently opposed to several of the proposed guidelines. 1. Reassessment: Reteaching is a critical aspect of the learning process, as is assessing students for mastery. However, students need to have a certain amount of responsibility to be prepared when the original assessments take place. This portion of the policy gives a false sense of reality and does nothing to prepare kids for college. Reassessing is fine, but it should not be mandatory that the new grade replaces the original. This takes much of the classroom control away from a teacher, and it gives teachers a huge increase in workload. More importanly though, it does not prepare students for higher learning and eliminates much of the reponsibility of learning from the student themself. 2. Extra credit: This appears to be crossed off, and I believe it should remain. I believe that teachers should exercise the choice of how and when extra credit is provided. 3. 50% for good faith effort: grade inflation. I recognize the need to help students feel like all is not lost as a result of certain grades, however, again, this does nothing to prepare kids for future/higher learning. If our goal is to better ready kids for the world, just how many opportunities should we give for them to fulfill their responsibility? If a child doesn't do well on a test or other assignment, then they should seek help from their teacher for reteaching, but otherwise, they should receive the grade they earned. Kids who are regularly getting grades below 50% are USUALLY not studying or reading or asking for help. Teachers must regularly assess student mastery to be sure that students are not regularly failing, determine what needs to be done to help students, and to assess students who fail rarely, to be sure something wasn't wrong. It is the teacher's responsibility to exercise common sense and compassion. If there are extenuating circumstances that result in poor grades, then most certainly, a teacher should consider assessment postponement or re-do. 4. Due date/Deadline: Absurd. A due date IS a deadline. IF a teacher is clear about a late-work policy in their syllabus, then that should be left up to the teacher. Again, the goal is to prepare kids for higher learning...and this simply does not. 5. Returning graded work within a week: Consider making this 2 weeks for high school. Most high school teachers have upwards of 150 students whose work must be graded. In general, again, I agree with the need for a policy and support the efforts to reach a common plan. I'd even be interested in participating in a plan to create a policy. I understand the purpose of these policies is to ensure students master material and demonstrate adequate learning, so as to best prepare them for college. But, what a rude awakening it will be to arrive in college, have to prepare for a test adequately the first time, turn work in on time, and receive the grade you earn. Accountability placement should not be placed solely on a teacher, but should reflect the efforts a student must put forth in their own learning process. Alison Mikeska/ amikeska@aacps.org 2012-04-30 07:56
First, I would like to commend the AACPS for developing the proposed uniform grading policy. Secondly, I would like to thank the Superintendent and his staff for the ParentConnect program allowing parents to view their student's grades. Now that parents can work with the teachers to resolve any issues/problems in individual classes. However, there is a glitch in your efforts to keep parents informed and involved. Despite a well-formulated grading system and ParentConnect, there appears to be no monoriting to make certain that high school teachers do enter grades into ParentConnect in a timely fashion. Therefore, parents may frequently review on the ParentConnect site and believe their student is doing well in a class but only to find out right before the marking period ends that the teacher had several more grades which were not previously entered into the system. If these grades are detrimental or bring down the student's overall average, there is no way to take corrective action because the marking period is ending or has ended. It is great to say that high school teachers should have 9 grades but this is not going to help unless the grades are posted on ParentConnect in a timely fashion. Parents need current information in order to know if students understand the material or needs additional help. Unlike elementary school, parents of high school students frequently only see paper copies of interim and final report cards. So they rely on the information posted on ParentConnect. If this information is not kept up-to-date, it is not serving the purpose of ParentConnect. I hope that my comments are useful. D. Young - 410-533-9143 2012-04-30 08:26
Advanced students GPA's are penalized if they take advanced classes at AACC because the courses are not offered at the HS. Including dual enrollment courses as part of the GPA should be optional for a student to prevent the GPA penalty. Vicki Lines 2012-04-30 08:38
There should be just due dates for assignments not a deadline. This teaches gives the students the idea they can turn assignments in late and still recieve credit.   2012-04-30 10:15
My son is in 5th grade and has been diagnosed with Aspergers/ADHD. This has been the worst year due to lack of communication with the teacher and parents. In 5th grade, these children are told "you are responsible for your work," but really, lets face it..not all kids are equal in this area. I've had my son bring home zeros and I ask why, and I'm told "he failed to hand in xyz assignment." I asked "what assignment?" The key here is the teachers never communicated to the parents of this big project and to keep an eye on their kids at home to ensure they are working on their projects. I heard that in 6th grade, parents have access to the grade book, maybe that would benefit the parents of 5th graders. Again...this has been the worse year due to LACK OF COMMUNICATION. Amanda Smith - 410 437-9248 2012-04-30 15:47
The proposed updates to the grading procedures fails to identify any grading process accomodation for disable children. If this procedures are not intended to cover disable children then it must be clearly noted in the regulation.   2012-04-30 23:13
bring back c-lock please! dod cooldude 2012-05-01 10:55
If we are truly "to prepare students for college and career readiness", is giving them two weeks to re-do an assessment justified? When do college students or employees have two weeks to fix a mistake?   2012-05-01 14:30
I'm concerned about how this regulation might constrain novel promising practices such as "flipping" ('classwork' done at home, 'homework' done in class) as discussed here in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/the-flip-classwork-at-home-homework-in-class/2012/04/15/gIQA1AajJT_story.html   2012-05-02 07:44
I NEEED EXTRA CREDIT   2012-05-02 09:40
By the regulation, you are requiring that all classes have at least 10% of their graded work as homework. In a standard, and sometimes even an honors or above class, this kills the grades of struggling students. Add that to due dates and deadlines and the struggling student will shut down and never recover. "Current" needs a definition such as grades must be enetered within 14 days of the due date. due dates and deadlines and mandatory 10% and 50%; while the students that keep up with all their work will be fine with this. Lower level and struggling students will not be able to recover from a few missed assignments.   2012-05-02 14:07
One of the major concerns I have over the new grading policy proposal is that good study/work habits are not positively reinforced and poor study/work habits do not have much of a negative consequence. For example, if all the homework in a class is only worth 10% of the total grade, and there are likely more than 10 assignments per semester per class, then each homework assignment is worth less than 1% of the total grade for that class. My son in middle school already began telling me this year that he doesn't do his homework because "it isn't worth anything[grade-wise]," and truthfully, he is more accurate than I want to admit. In addition, a student may not study for an assessment, (choosing to watch T.V. or facebook, etc.), fail or nearly fail the assessment, and re-take it thereby replacing the first grade with the new grade. Poor decisions and poor study habits are rewarded. Neither of these grading policy changes will meet the goals of preparing students for college, or for life. It is frightening to me that the Board can even consider these changes. Is the desire to "close the achievement gap" clouding their judgment? Surely the members of the board remember that hard work and good work habits got them where they want to be in life. Why would any changes be made that reward poor study habits? This is robbing our young people from learning the study habits and personal responsibility needed to succeed in life. Yes, we need to close the achievement gap- but not this way. Sue Luber 410-672-0323 2012-05-02 21:26
Grades should reflect exactly how a student is performing not reflect how the teacher 'wants them to perform'. If a child received a 50% or lower, then it should be labeled that way and not a '50%'. Yes, 50% is still failing and a 0% is failing but it also demonstrates that something is wrong for different reasons. For parents, an '0%' means nothing was turned in or no work was performed. A '50%' means something was turned and work was performed but more help is needed, the student needs more accomodations. It may also mean the student needs to go to another school that can modify the material on a regular basis so the student can understand in a consistent manner. It means more attention is needed for that student or a different type of delivery model is required in order for them to learn or attempt to learn. Yes, I understand why teachers do not want to give '0%'. They want to motivate the student more by giving a 50% instead, but that's not portraying the real situation if they do and just covering up the problems. More creativity is required by the teacher or school to motivate and keep the students engaged. Parents need an accurate representation of how their child is performing so they can address the issues with their child and the school. Also, the child needs the truth and not to think they are doing well if they are not. They have to learn where their weaknesses are in order to learn new strategies for success. It also will show if teachers are up to the challenge of teaching or it they require more support,training, or removal if necessary. It takes all sides - the student, the teachers, and school system - to make changes so students can perform their individual best.   2012-05-03 06:33
Grades are given to middle school students to document mastery of course content, skills,and standards. Guided practice and formative assessments, assigned before mastery, are expected to demonstrate student progress between summative assessments.( I think this part is very necessary and clearly lays out the expectations that will be expected of the teachers. It also allows parents the ability to help their children with the specific standards and not just an overall grade   2012-05-03 08:20
Can the due date and deadline be the same date? This is not clear. Also, can we put a time limit on when a student can turn in late work for a 50%? It looks like that a student could show up on the last day of school with work and the teacher has to accept it and give it 50%. The purpose of assignments is to get ready for an assessment or activity. If the assignment can be submitted after the assessment or activity, then the assignment loses its purpose.   2012-05-03 08:23
As I understand this students will be allowed to makeup virtually all of their assignments and shall recieve a 50% minimum for a "good faith" effort. How do I determine what is a good faith effort? Also the comment was made that we are preparing our students for college and career success. The policy describes will in no way accomplish this as we all know that do overs and 50% minimums do not exist in college or careers.. I am afraid we are just setting our students up for failure after high school by taking away any responsibility they would have for their education.   2012-05-03 08:38
I believe that in Middle School, students with three or more unexcused absences should receive a failing grade for that marking period, as they currently do in High School.   2012-05-03 08:39
YES YES YES!!! Thank you!! We need this so badly!!   2012-05-03 09:56
I have some very specific concerns. High School (C (43) "shall have paricipated in the teacher directed reteaching, can you please tell me the reason for an assessment? "Teachers shall assign a minimum grade of 50%" define for me good faith.(5 a.) "Completed work after the deadline shall recieve a 50% if student has made a good faith effort" What is the need for a deadline, and again defin good faith. On homework "Parents shall not be expected to play a formal teaching role" really? I as a parent and a teacher had better be expected to help and trach my children,I believe this should stricken. We are holding our expectations of students up we should hold our expectation of parents up as well.   2012-05-03 10:13
"Teachers shall help prepare students for the work placecollege and career readiness by providing opportunities for cooperation, cooperative learning.." Studies show that "group think" was a failed practice in the business community, why does AACPS insist on conitnuing its emphasis on its implementation? The 20th century ended over a decade ago, catch up.   2012-05-03 11:05
"All assignments, including homework, projects, etc. shall have a due date and a deadline. Assignments submitted after the due date, but before the deadline,..." A deadline and a due date are the same thing. Assignments are due on the deadline. If a student misses the deadline, too bad, welcome to the real world. What world are you trying to prepare our kids for?   2012-05-03 11:08
My comment pertains to the regulation listed below. 2. b. a. "All assignments, including homework, projects, etc. shall have a due date and a deadline. Assignments submitted after the due date, but before the deadline, shall be penalized up to 10% as described in the syllabus or course outline. Completed work submitted after the deadline shall receive a 50% if the student has made a good faith effort to complete the assignment." It will be difficult to keep students who do not submit the work by the due date from copying assignments from students who have had their work returned by the teachers within the 1 week parameter stated in another regulation. 5. "It is expected that teachers shall generally enter graded student work into their electronic grade book and return that work to students within a week of being submitted to the teacher." I was wondering if a statement could be added to limit the deadline period to the time before the work is returned to the other students by their teacher. Marie Livingston South River High School mlivingston@aacps.org 2012-05-03 11:58
First of all, fix the typo in this question. There is no "A" in system. Mistakes like these don't inspire confidence.   2012-05-03 12:18
There are several problems with this draft. The mastery concept is going to create severe make up scheduling difficulties. Teachers will be indirectly incentivized to give fewer opportunities for assessments and make those that are available "built to pass." You won't be creating vigor, but rather logistical issues that will be putting the cart before the horse. Students will fail to complte formative assessments as homework because there is no tangible reward given for effort. Why do homework at all if it only counts for 10%?   2012-05-03 12:24
Everything looks good, as long as it is followed. I cannot tell you how difficult it is for me to keep up with my son's grades when ParentConnect is not updated regularly. I end up emailing his teachers for updates and that is not practical when I am sitting at the computer with my son, trying to make him accountable for his grades. Just yesterday, I was on the site and the three classes I checked on had still not been updated since 4/14/12. How can I make my son accountable if his teachers are not? Don't get me wrong, I love his teachers and I know they are doing the best they can, but communication of grades should be a priority. Thank you! Alexis Forrester (aforrester@ccannapolis.com) 2012-05-03 12:28
1. Regarding B.2.c.5 -- Could the following be added? Teachers shall assign a minimum grade of 50% to assignments or assessments for which a student made a good faith effort to meet basic requirements. If a student does no work on an assignment or assessment "or shows no good faith effort to meet basic requirements", the teacher shall assign a grade of zero. I feel like "good faith effort" is subjective and its implementation will vary based upon teacher opinion. 2. Similarly, in B.2.c.3 should a time frame be put on completing the initial assessment in order to avoid students turning in late assessments and expecting the opportunity for an upgrade/re-do. I understand that teachers can declare certain assignments not part of the re-do program and that late assignments will be penalized according to the syllabus (B.2.c.5.a), but should a time frame be placed upon those assignments that are part of the program. Perhaps these assignments must be turned in on time or within two weeks of the original due date? 3. Regarding B.3. Should homework be a required grade? Should homework be required at all? Many educational experts today suggest that homework should be purely used for practice. In a standards-based world we grade them on the skill, not on the practice of the skill.   2012-05-03 12:35
In second grade, we should go to letter grades.The checklist should be for pre-K,K, and 1. Parents do not take grading of the "developing" seriously enough, getting the idea students are doing fine when they are developing. It allows parents to be too complacent. If students were bringing home grades of "C" in second grade there would be more of an effort on the part of parents to review and help improve. Mary Calderone Grade 2 Benfield Elementary 2012-05-03 12:55
I like that all schools will have a consistent 'plan' for grading both as a mother and a teacher. It will make understanding the grades that my sons are receiving as well as the ones I am giving out much easier as well as what is expected at each level. A. Quade; GBHS 2012-05-03 13:41
I believe the document support fair grading of students. I do believe that there should be ample staff development on components of the grading regulations so that all teachers are experts on the system. Mandi Quinn- mnquinn@aacps.org 2012-05-03 14:04
I do not agree with the minimum grading system. I am sick of seeing the high school children I know sneek by and not do the work correctly and get a 60% and still pass. They do not know how to spell or use correct grammar. I know high school children who throw crap down for homework because it does not get checked and are given a 100% for completion. Then they fail all their tests and pass! It is not teaching them information or responsibility!   2012-05-03 17:41
1. Reducing Homework to only 10% puts too much emphasis on tests only and adds more stress for students. 2. Why are we giving STEM students more GPA credits for their courses when there is an inequity already in the number of advanced courses offered to them as opposed to the rest of the kids? Make an unfair system for class rank even more unfair? 3. Letting everyone redo assignments will create way too much work for the teachers. Wasn't this tried already and was a miserable failure because of the overload of work for the teachers having to recreate new tests for retakes? 4. Final exams should be 15% not 20% of the high school grades. This is high school, not college. The goal is to reduce the stress and competitive issues for these kids, not create more.   2012-05-03 19:04
The county is continually "dumbing" down the curriculm and rigor in our school system. This is apparent with a policy suggestion such as this. Motivation? Money. When students "score" better -- then they can receive more federal money from Race to the Top. The students will suffer because it will perpetuate a system of laziness. "I don't need to try hard -- because I know I will get another chance." Plenty of teacher allow for redos on their own -- we don't need the county to create a system that ultimately filters into the work place. Twenty years from now -- these students will be in the work place -- in the operating room -- in banks -- and this mentally will affect work ethic.   2012-05-04 07:07
There really needs to be a better way of grading the students than the new system. A child that fails the first quarter with a low average has no hope of gaining the credit for the rest of the semester. To many of our struggling students could see this as an impossible cycle and give up. Once they fail a quarter they might as well drop that class.   2012-05-04 07:22
I truly do not understand that there is any logical reason for giving a student a grade of 50% if they did not earn it. All this does is inflate grades to make someone feel better or look better. This also lowers the number of failures, so if we look good on paper we are good! WRONG!!! Out side of school there are no 50% for not performing and there are no IEP's were you only have to do part of the work. If you don't perform, you are out of a job. You setting these kids up for bigger failure later in life by rewardng low or non-performance as acceptable performance. Just my opinion! Bill Mundy, bmundy13@yahoo.com 2012-05-04 07:54
I am disgusted at being forced to give kids who "try" a 50%. Not only that, who's to say a kid gave a 'good faith effort?' It's subjective. Also, teachers can decide on their own to give credit for trying. Rarely will a kid flat out fail if they really and truly tried. You know how many kids scribble down some answers right before class, copying everything from their classmates and put the same answers over and over again making look like they tried? How can I truly prove that a kid tried when I darn right know that he/she threw something together at the last minute. The subjectivity of the "good faith effort" is ridiculous. Telling teachers to give a kid a 50 just because he TRIED is ludicrous. It is PURE, unadulterated, DUMBING DOWN of America. Kids aren't ready to enter college these days, and it's a direct result of policies like this. Having to be "politically correct" all the time isn't doing our kids justice. Forcing everyone to play on the same playing field isn't natural. There have been, and always will be, people who succeed, and those who do not. Telling educators to force EVERYONE to succeed erodes what ideals our nation was built on; healthy competition that teaches one to better themselves while and disengaging, disillusioning, and ostracizing good teachers. It is simply wrong in the most purest of all that which is wrong--if that makes sense. My point is that it's wrong!   2012-05-04 08:03
A due date should be the same as a deadline. We should be preparing them for work and life in general. Why are some homework assignments evaluated for completeness only? How is a child to learn if they answered a question correctly? And finally, why on Earth would be give a 50% grade to a student? This appears to be ONLY a way to increase scores and meet the state's goals on education. What ever happened to working hard? If a child doesn't get a concept, then they need to be taught how to do it, not given a grade. Alicyn Campbell 2012-05-04 08:21
I feel so concerned about the damage that the new grading policy could do to our young people (and future leaders, that I'm resending my biggest concerns and I request reply/contact from Dr. Maxwell or any available staff. One of the major concerns I have over the new grading policy proposal is that good study/work habits are not positively reinforced and poor study/work habits do not have much of a negative consequence. For example, if all the homework in a class is only worth 10% of the total grade, and there are likely more than 10 assignments per semester per class, then each homework assignment is worth less than 1% of the total grade for that class. My son in middle school already began telling me this year that he doesn't do his homework because "it isn't worth anything[grade-wise]," and truthfully, he is more accurate than I want to admit. In addition, a student may not study for an assessment, (choosing to watch T.V. or facebook, etc.), fail or nearly fail the assessment, and re-take it thereby replacing the first grade with the new grade. Poor decisions and poor study habits are rewarded. Neither of these grading policy changes will meet the goals of preparing students for college, or for life. It is frightening to me that the Superintendant or the Board can even consider these changes. Is the desire to "close the achievement gap" clouding their judgment? Surely Dr. Maxwell and the members of the board remember that hard work and good work habits got them where they want to be in life. Why would any changes be made that reward poor study habits? This is robbing our young people from learning the study habits and personal responsibility needed to succeed in life. Dr. Maxwell, please do not lower the amount that homework is worth. Instead, why not have kids make-up missed assignments? This could be done in a variety of ways. For example, in high school, homework can be made up in-school (lunch) detention or in middle school , perhaps after school on days that activity buses run. In elementary school, help can be given to complete homework either in the classroom, during recess, 'specials' or media center time. Volunteers can assist in addition to regular staff. I hope you give this serious consideration. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank-you Sue Luber (Mom of 3 in public school) Sue Luber 410-672-0323 luber.sue@gmail.com 2012-05-04 08:26
  Meghan Reinhart 410-721-1722 meghanreinhart@hotmail.com 2012-05-04 08:59
  Chris Knapp 410-741-9655 2012-05-04 09:46
  Cara McCandless, cara.creative@comcast.net 2012-05-04 10:07
  4109801406 2012-05-04 12:32
  6666666666 2012-05-04 12:33
It is a good idea. Thise who think it represents "dumbing down" likely read too much into the meaning of grades. They are just a representation of what a child does or learns, not a full analysis of the child's skills or deficits.Some teachers need to be prevented from punishing students' efforts with failing grades. Far too many kids drop out because they can't pass for the year even with time left in the semester.   2012-05-04 13:32
You are requesting teachers to include a significant amount of information in a syllabus. If every school is implementing the Comon Core State Standrads, there should be direction from the Board of Education regarding which standards should be covered each marking period in each content area/course. If not, you will not have equity among the schools within the county. If teachers are required to write a syllabus for each content area they teach, they should be given time within their work day to craft this document. Kathleen Depman 410-980-8895 2012-05-04 14:15
What a ridiculous proposal. When we moved to Anne Arundel County we were confused by the number of parents who skipped seemingly good public schools only to shell out big dollars for private school. At the time we thought they were crazy and elected to use the public school system. Then we got here and discovered that homework can be turned in late, that tests can be retaken and now, that we want to make the kids that somehow still manage to post failing marks or do little if any work feel better and bump them up from a 0 to a 50. Both are still E's (actually F which I suppose was changed to an E to make them feel less like failures?). Where is the incentive for the rest of the kids to work hard? If the bottom performers get a boost up to 50, shouldn't the higher performers get a 50 point boost as well? This proposal should never have seen the light of day let alone be fodder for so much discussion. Money is tight at my house right now but I have real doubts about the integrity of the school system. Not of the teachers, but of the people who sit in the County Offices and make these policies. When we left our old community, the hot issue was Fair Grade - making sure that Top Performers received higher marks for their AP and college level classes. A true focus on Acheivement. We move here and the focus has moved to Failure. Please do not implement this program and take a good look at the policies currently in place. Homework should be not be accepted after the due date, test should not be allowed to be retaken and kids should be graded on their performance. If you want a portion of their grade to include "effort" so be it, but it should not enable a poor performing student, or one who has put in minimal effort to receive a minimum grade of 50. Victoria S. Loucks 410-224-4581, vloucks@loucksgroup.com 2012-05-04 15:18
I am strongly opposed to the idea of giving 50% as a minimum grade. There are already ample safeguards in place for a student who earns a poor grade on an assignment- he or she may meet with the teacher and then complete a reassessment. This ensures that the student is not overly penalized for a single bad grade while also ensuring that the student actually learns the material, demonstrates improvement, and earns a higher grade. It is simply a bad practice to reward for effort where there is no comprehension. This policy does not serve students. It does not help them to learn the material, it does not motivate them to try harder, and it certainly does not prepare them for college or careers. Please listen to the parents and teachers who are overwhelmingly opposed to this plan. katetclark@hotmail.com 2012-05-04 17:22
  Joe Wonsever Josef.A.Wonsever@NASA.gov 2012-05-06 10:56
(78) A student who exhibits academic dishonesty as determined by the teacher and administrator, shall receive a zero on the particular assignment in question. Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and Regulation may result in disciplinary action. Consequences for violations may vary according to the severity of the violation and shall follow the progressive interventions and discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. I am thrilled to see a specific and tough policy as regards academic integrity. I hope that this language remains when the policy is completed! Jenna Lerro, jlerro@aacps.org 2012-05-06 13:29
While I believe that timely feedback is essential to student achievement, if we are expected to grade and input graded assignments into the electronic gradebook within 1 week of an assignment being completed, then we should be given a designated "grading period." At my middle school, we are expected to attend meetings during one planning period everyday; one of those planning periods should be designated for grading. If we are expected to submit grades in accordance with this timeline, we should be given "time on the clock" to grade which is uninterrupted.   2012-05-07 12:45
As a kindergarten teacher, we have been asked to implement the PTD Primary Talent and Development program. This is very time consuming and the evaluation and grading process time has resulted in us having to take a sub day just to get everything in order for our "portfolio checks". This is an added concern for grading and assessment preparation.   2012-05-07 18:08
  Shawn Templin, stemplin@aacps.org 2012-05-07 18:11
The proposed changes are an insult to real education. By design they make administration look better and create needless extra work for teachers. Redos and flexible due dates set students up for failure after high school where none of these policies exist in business or college. They also teach students they do not need to study, that it is just a game to them. In practice in the classroom students have proven this by asking when the redo will occur as soon as an evaluation hits the table. This misguided proposal will prove that administration needs to listen to the classroom experts, the teachers when students start failing college and business careers because of this high school failure. B. Seidenstein, Bensci2001@yahoo.com 2012-05-07 18:23
On page 4 (5) last sentence, it states that final semester or marking period exams cannot be reassessed. Why then are we being forced to give our high school exams in middle school three weeks early this year to accommodate reteaching and redos of those same exams? Alberta Baker, Crofton Middle School 2012-05-07 18:29
I am disheartened beyond belief by the hypocrisy inherent in these bureaucratic intrusions into the grading process. A Board of Education that espouses "rigor" while countenancing "do-overs" and mandatory numerical awards for students who submit abject garbage in lieu of schoolwork can only be thought of as a sub-agency of George Orwell's Ministry of Truth. Every person at 2644 Riva who has had anything to do with these ongoing travesties of academic justice should hang his or her head in shame. Philip Greenfield Annapolis High School pgreenfield@aacps.org 410-266-5240, x 251 2012-05-07 19:38
good students who do their work on time are penalized with the 50% minimum grade. Students need standards and this is allowing for low standards. Poor students who do little work benefit from this ridiculous plan. Due date and deadline are also lowering standards for students. Life will not allow second chances for deadlines. Teachers are the losers with this plan and students will win nothing in the long run. Teacher work load will increase with assignments coming in at different times. Ridiculous. Second chances at multiple assignments and assesments is ridiculous. Are teachers to have various assignments for the same grade or will the student redo the same assignment they have already done because they didn't feel like studying but now they have seen the test they will study? Really? What are we training our students for? Certainly not life and a real job! Maybe we need to crack down and have all teachers require assignements be turned in on the given day so students will have all teachers requiring the same from students. The problem we already have is that students are able to turn things in late for some classes but not for others. They need expectations to suceed not reasons to do a poor job. We are doing no service to our students. We expect AP but not to turn things in on time. Are you kidding? Our kids are getting different messages from the board. How about some consistancy here?   2012-05-07 19:50
Techers of classes meeting daily at the middle school level have been informed that they need to enter 9 grades into their gradebook. However, the new gradig procedure has added, "in addition to homework assignments". There needs to be more of a clarification that homework shall be above and beyond the 9 required assessment grades. In addition, for the past several year all Anne Arundel County has pushed is the RIGOR that all courses should include how is it then that students will be given a due date and deadline? First of all aren't they the same thing? Secondly, how ironic for you speak on rigor, but allow second best; allowing students to turn in work at their leisure! The re-do policy needs to be re-looked at. Students should absolutely not be given the higher of the two grades,but it should be an average of the two. This has already been in the county! Students purposely fail assessments and thus get to "redo" an assessment and can hypothetically receive an A because they failed to study the first time! What is this teaching our students? If a student truly does not understand the first time, but then shows improvement then that will be shown on the average of the two grades.In addition, students should not be granted an extension for the redo of an assignment. This is ridiculous! It makes more work for teachers and the majority of students will wait until the last moment to turn re-do assignments in. Also, then do students receive the higher of the two grades in that case as well??! These items need to be changed for the sake of the students and teachers.   2012-05-07 20:20
Teachers should not be required to allow students to take tests over and over until they pass them. They will not be allowed to do so in college, so it should not be allowed in high school. Teachers should have the final say on whether or not students can make up work or tests. Make up work should not be required for students who cannot prove they missed class legally, and it certainly should not be required for students who waste class time but want to make up assignments at the last minute to improve their grades. Although I do not mind helping students outside of class, the school system needs a reality check on time teachers actually have to do this. Although we are required to stay anywhere from 30 minutes to almost 2 hours after the final bell rings, many times that time is filled already with meetings, professional development and parent-teacher conferences. Is the school system willing to pay teachers overtime for taking additional time to help students outside of class in addition to everything else that has to be done? I doubt it. Our school supposedly has tutors in every subject. Sometimes a student may have to resort to getting a tutor for additional help. In my last school system, I had 220 students and commuted an hour one way to work. As much as I would have loved to help students outside of class, it was not possible. Also, teachers have to maintain their certification or increase their education outside of school to simply stay employed. Once again, re-teaching outside of school should not be required. It's one thing if the student works hard in class but simply doesn't understand the material, but it's quite another if the student wasted class time by not paying attention, disrupting the class, or sleeping. Also, teachers should not be required to give up any planning time for make up work or re-testing. Some planning time is already being taken up by duty or IEP meetings as it is. Having the students be able to perform on the college level does not mean we "hand" the grades to students or let them re-do assignments and tests until they pass. This is not how college and the real world, which we are trying to prepare them for, work. Also, while one student is re-doing items, the rest of the class needs to move on. Eventually, the students are going to have to be prepared to take mid-terms and finals or in the case of world languages, move on to the next level. World language completers consist of two years of one language. Everything the students learn in the first year they need to know for as long as they are taking that language. It is a building process. There is literally no time for re-doing. How long a student has to turn in legitimate make up work or to make up a test should be up to the teacher only. We know our students and our classes as a whole, and we are the ones doing the teaching and the grading. How is someone who does not even work in the same building I do able to know special circumstances any student of mine may have? They don't. Therefore, it should be up to the teacher. Furthermore, re-doing tests and make up work can be completely impractical in some cases. In world languages, tests are not just written. I can't have a student make up an audio test while the rest of the class needs instruction. World language mid-terms, finals, and other assessments given by the teacher may have multiple parts such as listening, speaking, writing, and grammar. They are not the type of tests that a student can take in the corner while the rest of the class moves on. This is especially impractical in larger classes of 30 or more and in mixed level classes such as German 3 and 4 where both levels are taught in the same classroom at the same time. The bottom line is that I understand the requirement of 9 grades per 9 weeks. Reteaching, make up work, and re-testing should be up to the teacher. The part in the grading that talks about a minimum of 50% for good faith and effort should be thrown out. "Good faith and effort" is difficult to define, but if someone is going to define it, it should be the teacher. We know our students. We know which students spent the year sleeping and which students work very hard but are still having trouble getting it. Once again, a minimum grade requirement should be up to those teaching the courses. Deadlines should be up to the teacher as well. The teacher should not have to go through an administrator to give a student a zero for academic dishonesty. The administrator is not teaching the class and does not have first hand knowledge on how that student performs in class. If I believe a student has been dishonest academically, I don't mind going to an administrator for advice, but the teacher should have the final say on whether or not that student gets a zero. When it comes to make-up work, re-testing, and re-teaching, I believe the way the draft is written does not take any consideration for the reality of an average teacher workday or the different courses being taught. What works for social studies may not work for world languages. I firmly believe that make up work, re-testing, and re-teaching should be up to the teacher only. I'm willing to bet that whoever wrote the current draft has never taught world languages before. It also amazes me that whoever writes these drafts seems to have no concept of how much time it takes for an excellent teacher to get the bear minimum done. For instance, right now, I could be grading or fine-tuning lesson plans. I'm at home on my computer after a 6:30am to 5pm work day making comments that have to be stated before one more policy is made that blames the teacher for poor academic performance, yet does not hold students responsible for their academic careers. Ms. Anne R. Day, World Language Teacher, arday@aacps.org 2012-05-07 20:36
Accept no grades between 0 and 50?? So students are not to be held accountable for ANYTHING??? How many times are they to be allowed to do an assignment/test/benchmark? Perhaps they can have re-takes on MSA? Multiple retakes? Then let's give them multiple chances on Math and Language Arts benchmark assessments. Let's let them do AP Exams til they pass. Then why rate teachers? Why have teachers take the Praxis Exams? Let's let teachers take the Praxis multiple times til they pass. Same thing, right? 2012-05-07 21:20
The stated emphasis of the grading policy is preparation for college and career. Yet, this same policy does not prepare students for the actual expectations of either college or careers. In a workplace, if a person fails to complete a task within the specified timeline, they do not receive 50% of their pay or just a late penalty. Rather, they don't get paid. There is no such thing as late work in college. By allowing students to earn grades based solely on effort, solely on "good faith effort," a nebulous term to say the least, is in appropriate and sets students up for future failure. In the real world, there isn't a due date and a deadline and really anything remotely along those terms. Rather, there is deadline. That is it. The discussion of formative assessments is unclear. Should they be graded? What is considered a formative assessment? Is it homework? An in-class writing? A small quiz? Based on this description, students who are bad test takers, who struggle on large assessments, will have poor grades. While it is lovely to think about having nine grades determine a quarter's worth of work, a real teacher assesses constantly, and yes, that involves grades. If a student fails one of nine grades, it hurts a lot more without giving credit for the work that led to that assessment. Furthermore, the expectation that grades will be returned within a week is fine when you're talking about a scan tron. Try grading a 10-page research paper times 200 students in a week while maintaining your students' active engagement in at least three preparations. This isn't lazy teaching or grading. It's reality. I teach high school English. Each of those research papers will take me at least 10 solid minutes to grade, assuming I don't give extensive comments. 10 minutes times 200 students = about 33 hours of grading in addition to my already busy schedule of just teaching and researching for class. Add in the apparent forced redoes, and this makes it impossible. My current research papers take over a month to complete just the regular writing process. While I try to provide time for redoes, I can't allow students to revise every assignment. Making a blanket statement sets me up for future litigious parents and students. Also the phrasing makes it appear that students can retake any exam, including the final exam, which is final for a reason. Furthermore, the time expected of students to complete assigned homework is unrealistic for high school students on a block schedule. These kids have 8 courses--more than they will ever have at one time in college. 90 minutes divided by 4 courses per day is 22.5 minutes. Write a rough draft of your essay in 22.5 minutes. Read the homework chapters in 22.5 minutes. Study for your test in 22.5 minutes. These are unrealistic requirements. While I believe homework needs to keep students lives in mind, I also think 120 minutes--the apparent original time--is far more realistic considering the requirements of college and rigorous coursework. Due to parent connect, we should entrust our parents and students with their responsibility for grades. That means we need to be honest about what those students need to be successful. Hand holding is inappropriate. On the other hand, allowing teachers freedom to work with students to improve without obsessive regulation will also benefit our students. Most importantly, this is a scary document, not just for teachers who want to fulfill the expectations of their employers while helping students. This is a dangerous document for the board of education. There is too much prescribed. This much regulation invites lawsuit and argument: conflict that comes from an overworked teacher who couldn't grade in your timeline, that comes from a student who argues about "good faith" being defined as simply putting a name on a paper, these are only two of the many issues. Finally please consider the weighting of IB vs. AP courses. Currently, students in IB always end up surpassing the GPAs of our AP students, and their courses are not more rigorous. This has an impact on our valedictorians etc.   2012-05-07 22:05
Why is anyone going to school? To learn? With regulations like these the lower kids will do the bare minimum and still pass. The super will get his bonus though. Maybe it's so we can all spell like what is on this survey from the superintendent - "SYATEM'S grading procedures. Oh that's right - you get another try and another one and another one until you get it correct. I'm moving somewhere that will hold my kids accountable for their work or lack of it. We're training our kids to fail in the real world.   2012-05-07 22:11
I have almost 200 math students. It is impossible to believe that I can call their parents every time they fail a quiz. It is also impossible to believe that I am going to reteach and requiz everyone of them. TAAC should be all over this, not just complaining that teachers are again being asked to do more.   2012-05-08 05:16
  2012-05-08 06:17
In regards to "(3) Students enrolled in International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement courses shall have the option of taking the appropriate exam for that course and being excused from the final exam with permission from the principal and parent or guardian. In such a case, the final grade shall be an average of the percentages from the last two marking periods." - Students do not have the "option" to take IB exams - any student who is enrtolled in an IB class is required to sit for the exam. IB students have the option of NOT sitting for the the final exam. JQUINN@aacps.org 2012-05-08 06:27
This grading policy severely hurts the academic students of the county as well as the students that will be entering the work force. 1. Colleges do not permit redo's. 2. If students are permitted to redo everything, students will not produce a good product at the onset when they know there is no consequence (low grade) for their poor quality of work. Also, the real world does not work this way. If job performance is average at best, employers will suffer. 3. Mastery learning was attempted in the late 70's to 80's. It did not work then why try it again? Please do some research about past practices. In 1978, for example, the AACPS science program was based on mastery learning/individualized learning.....why did it disappear if it is so successful? Why are you proposing repeating this cycle? If what we are doing now does not work, why go back and retry something that didn't work 30 years ago? 4. This suggested grading system allows for each child to potentially earn an A in every class. However, when these "A" students take the PSAT, SAT, AP, ACT and independent college tests there will be a clear disconnect between AACPS grades of all A's and the below average grade on the above mentioned national test. 5. Finally, Dr. Maxwell, go back to parents of children in Montgomery County that have had a child graded the "old way" and a child graded the "new way"....ask them which they thought was best? One comment from a parent of a Montgomery County parent that stands out in my mind is "I know my son's B's and A's are not real B's and A's."   2012-05-08 07:32
It is ridiculous I have to write home when the students gets a D or an E. The parents should do the parents, and teachers the teachers.   2012-05-08 08:19
I have edited thie document in Microsoft word using WORD's comment tracking feature. Iw oudl like to email to someone at the Board. Can you please email me the contact information of someone to forward the document to? scahoon@aacps.org   2012-05-08 08:29
Returning work within one week: "It is expected that teachers shall generally enter graded student work into their electronic grade book and return that work to students within a week of being submitted to the teacher." Teachers cannot return tests and quizzes to students until all students that were absent on the day of the test have been able to make it up. Often this will not occur in the 1 week time frame that we are given to return papers. Reassessments: "The higher grade shall be the grade of record." Students will know that they are allowed to retake an assessment, and therefore will not try the first time. The average of the two assessment grades would be a better method of grading, to ensure that the students put forth effort on the first assessment, despite knowing ahead of time that they will be allowed to reassess. Minimum of 50%: "Teachers shall assign a minimum grade of 50% to assignments or assessments for which a student made a good faith effort" Again, this policy will encourage students to not put forth their best effort on assignments. Danielle Snyder dsnyder@aacps.org 2012-05-08 09:26
All grades should have grades A - F you need to show all students that they can fail if they dont do the work. the current system doesnt hold student accountable for work Joseph Kane 2012-05-08 09:46
Let me start by saying I am a softy. I always side with the kids and go out of my way to help. But you really should see how the first few weeks of a quarter are going now. Students, wait; they get behind because they know they can catch up later. As they get older it gets harder. They are furiously making up work and missing new content. To give the kids a "due date" and a "deadline date" is setting them up for failure. We know in life there are certain deadlines that are set in stone (taxes, mortgage) and if we miss them there is a penalty; but I also understand there are times I can go to my administrator and say, "Can I have another day on this?" and we can have more time. But to put this out as a policy; we are telling kids don't worry about turning it in the first time. They are kids, if you give me two dates, they will clearly take the latter even with a penalty. I am not being a teacher saying "the kids these days" but I am saying that I do see them making less of an effort early on and this isn't because of a lack of learning. It's become par for the course to wait and do it later and that is a bad precedent we are setting.   2012-05-08 10:25
Most of the language is what we as a school and county are doing now. I do believe a couple things are murky: 1. the wording of "standards" in B.1.a.--but I don't think it will be necessary to list all the standards because we don't list all the concepts right now, and concepts are in the old language. I think a statement of where the standards can be found or mention of them in some fashion will probably work best. 2. B.1.d.--opportunities for reteaching and reassessment language can be left for interpretation. I think most teachers do some form of this. But the next statement (e.) talks about teacher choice of which assessments. 3. B.2.c. 3. this paragraph explains the redo policy. I am sure this language is of concern for our teachers. 4. B.2.c.5.a. I believe the language of due date and deadline is in there so teachers have support on how long it takes for a student to complete work, turn it in and what type of credit they earn. No different than a teacher's late policy. 5. B.3.b. I don't agree with the homework receiving a due date and deadline. I think they are muddying the water and considering projects, etc as homework. Most homework is short, sweet, to the point and limited points anyhow. 6. B.4. that is new but teachers keep records current and precise with the electronic gradebook 7. B.4.c. "shall..." "at any point during the marking period" does sound questionable in terms of teacher responsibility. 8. B.5. return graded work within a week...seems too short of a turnaround. Perhaps two weeks?   2012-05-08 10:53
Life does not give you 1/2 or any percent of something unless you put something into it. I can not by moral code give a studetn partial credit or a grade on something that he/she did not do. Do you get a pay check for full time or part time if you stay home from work and do not reprot? In most places, you do not. This is sending the wrong message to kids. You earn grades. rmahanes@aacps.org 2012-05-08 11:35
How will the determination be made of a "good faith" effort? It must rest with the teacher, not the student or parent, with total support from the school's admininstration, unless a teacher has a "documented" history of grading issues. If teachers are going to have to make this "extra" effort" to get students that are below standard, up to the standard, there needs to be some time given during our unending "collaborative" meeting schedules to grade work in a maeningful way. Steve Fletcher sfletcher@aacps.org 2012-05-08 13:59
What does the term "in good faith" means? This is vauge and does not define what the student has to do. Why have due dates if you allow students to still make up work? The real world does not work that way... For the homework policy, 90 mins for each class? Do the teachers have to plan collobratively to see if they reach this amount? The communication system between teachers and parents is poorly designed. Is there a better way? A student who misses the final can make up the work when school is over? Sounds like you are making the teachers work more and allowing the students to do what ever that they want. Burt Brookfield, burtbrookfield@gmail.com 2012-05-08 14:30
In regard to the "proficiency" plan or "redo" for improvement: I understand that the goal is to focus on learning and to ensure that the students learn the material. However, the practice is not practical in that students often enter the class asking "when's the redo" before they even look at an assessment for the first time. I have taught with the proficiency plan at Arundel High School and have found it frustrating with continual abuse of the program. I asked some of the students if they feel the "proficiency" plan helps them to be successful after high school (as per goal One at the top of the proposal) and had every single one that was asked tell me "no." The students do not feel the plan will help them to be successful post high school. In fact the response I received was, "I don't study for anything until it's time for a redo." I also got "With the policy I am allowed to be super lazy." What are we trying to teach the students? What about the AP classes? These classes are supposed to be college level classes. I had AP students attempting to submit lab reports for Chemistry two months after the due date during the last week of the marking period as the were worried they would fail. Two months after the due date? Is this college preparation (let alone college level)? If students do fail, it is the teacher who is criticized. Teachers have classrooms that are overcrowded and students have zero responsibility as they are allowed with this proposal (which Arundel had implemented last year) to submit work late while teachers have to continually prepare "redo" tests and assessments because few students take the first attempt seriously. I and many other teachers have been more than frustrated. Arundel Chemistry teacher 2012-05-08 16:15
As a parent of two children in the system, I am distressed at the journey toward mediocrity this policy is traveling...Guarantee of 50% for a good faith effort...I will direct all of my sons' teachers that if they earn a 38%, they are to receive a 38%....no minimum scores for my children....who was the last college professor you met that said..."You tried..." Due dates, deadlines? If it's due it's due....if my sons do not turn in their work on time, they should not receive credit. Again, I never had a college professor who made a due date flexible enough to then be called a deadline....In the real world, if I miss andue date my company doesn't get paid. My sons are being raised in a household with parents with graduate degrees. We hold them to high standards...this policy is disturbing on many levels but it simply evidence that the school system is not interested in establishing rigor...it's interested in enabling students to become even more medicore and less prepared for college and the professional world. Thank goodness I can afford private school...because it looks like I' m going to have pay for my students to receive an education that is committed to challenging them to set standards and rise to meet expectations....not just make a "good faith effort". Not really sure how that's going to get them into college.... John Bajadek jmcalifornia@verizon.net 2012-05-08 16:59
The problem with grading procedures in Anne Arundel County as of the last ten years is that they have become political and they are no longer practical. Why should teachers continue to become the primary target of predatory and harassing legislation at the hands of so few? Less planning period time with more importance stressed individually on teachers, doubled with the (as I would imagine, because this is the nature of political education) lack of a raise and the increased pressure for students to pass? All of the teachers I had in high school were knowledgeable, well-informed, constructively critical, and incredibly talented at their jobs. This revision implies that students are provided more gateways to pass, in order for the county and its' executives to appear to be more professional. At the expense of these highly-qualified teachers that helped me maintain a relatively high GPA and a relatively high educational efficacy. That is the problem this country as a community faces; whether or not test scores are highest and whether or not Tom, Dick, and Harry are going to graduate. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to speak to the entire committee of executives and under-informed and bloated bureaucracy that is the Board of Education, I already know my opinion on the matter will be overlooked. This school system's grading procedure will change because the common man and woman's arguments will be overlooked in the name of a good test score. And also, the word system does not have an "a" in it. "Submit your COMMENTS on the proposed revisions to the administrative regulation regarding the school syatem's grading procedures." My guess is that this page was thrown together to make pretend that students, former students, teachers, concerned citizens, and all others' opinions don't matter. Hopefully I can speak to the Board of Education on this matter, it would be my pleasure as a former student, concerned citizen, and future educator. Thank you for your time, web administrator. Hopefully you relay this message to your galactic AACPS overlords. Love, Ben. Benjamin Simonds Nixon, e-mail: benny.nixon@gmail.com, phone: 443.942.7866, facebook: facebook.com/bsnixon, address: 715 Glenwood Street, Annapolis, Maryland, p.o. Box 3815, Crofton, MD, 21114 2012-05-08 17:48
HATE IT!   2012-05-08 18:21
I think that students with disabilities should NOT receive a report card which is supposed to represent their "mastery" of grade level content. MOST students with disabilities will NOT master the content of their current grade level during that school year, nor will it be equitable to hold them to the same standards of students without disabilities. The current grading system is confusing to parents and educators. We write progress reports which note that the student is making progress, but then we are supposed to give them a grade that reflects their "mastery of grade level content." If they were graded on their level of mastery, it would always be a failing grade. Page 4 #6 it says "teachers shall assign a minimum grade of 50% to assignments or assessments for which the student made a good faith effort to meet the basic requirements"... this is unclear... is it 50% plus their earned grade, or they didn't show any mastery, so they just get 50%... on page 15 #43 It says "if a teacher believes a student has made significant improvement improvement during any grading period, the student's record shall be thoroughly evaluated to determine the grade given. There must be thorough documentation and approval by the principal" WHY??? SHouldn't we expect students to improve. If they make significant improvement, maybe the "light just came on" or they matured, or the teacher found a better way to teach them.... there are hundreds of reasons for significant improvement... Chris Connaughton, Meade Heights Elementary 2012-05-08 19:12
Something is not right in Anne Arundel County. In an attempt to help students you are making it nearly impossible for them to survive once outside the walls of your schools. Policy makers should be ashamed of themselves. I miss my students terribly, but I'm not sorry I left Anne Arundel County as a teacher. I feel so, so bad for current teachers and honestly wish you luck in keeping hold of your good, young, vibrant teachers who will search elsewhere for a job that treats its employees fairly.   2012-05-08 19:26
As a former student of Crofton Middle School and Arundel High School I am deeply disturbed by the changes proposed to the grading policy in our schools, namely the policies of allowing a redo for any poorly-done assignment and the minimum 50% grade for late assignments or any assignment on which the student made a "good faith effort." These policies directly contradict the County's stated goal of "maintaining...college and career readiness," as in both college and their careers students will be cut little to no slack for late or sub-par assignments, regardless of effort. These policies sabotage students' futures in two ways. First, they give students an expectation of leeway which they will not receive later in life. Second, they provide less of an incentive to perform well on assignments or complete them by the deadline, punishing those responsible students who work hard to keep up with their studies. I am ashamed that my home county would consider such policies, and sincerely hope that my fellow Anne Arundel County residents will react just as strongly to the proposed changes. Alexander Goyette, amg1591@verizon.net, (410) 562-1281 2012-05-08 19:40
What is the purpose for the purposed 50% minimum grade? Grades are supposed to reflect our understanding of a subject and the ability to apply the information in a practical manner, not based on a "good faith effort". A high school diploma hardly means anything in today's society. If this purposed change is enacted, it might as well mean nothing. Kyle Walcutt - Kyle.Walcutt@gmail.com 2012-05-08 20:23
I mailed in some comments but forgot the most important questions. What meaning do you want grades to convey? And, who is (are) the primary intended audience(s) for this message? Neither of these is clear in the document, and it seems you need to have this decided before you can make any other decisions. Karen Wootton, wootton@cpm.org 2012-05-08 20:54
As an educator in AACPS, I deal w the effects of enabling policies such as these new grading guidelines daily in the classroom. Students are not prepared for a challenging college or career because we enable failure. AACPS has excellent educators who know how to grade to standards of excellence. Mandating "50%s" when they are not warranted sets students up for failure in the "real" world. Sometimes children need to experience "bottom" in order to know where firm ground exists. I teach this to my own children; this grading policy, if instituted, will only enable failure from both educators and those they are to educate.   2012-05-09 05:57
Requiring teachers to re-teach and re-administer summative assessments will increase their workload. It takes a lot of time to develop a good assessment. You would not just re-administer the original assessment. The student would just memorize the answers, not proving that he mastered the material. In addition to developing the new assessment, there is the time needed to correct it. Karen Packal kpackal@aacps.org 2012-05-09 06:49
. xxxxxx 2012-05-09 07:09
These new grading policies contradict the mantra of "Rigor for All." Mary Robinson - AMS, mprobinson@aacps.org 2012-05-09 07:39
Scott Rundle, srundle@aacps.org, Broadneck HS, Math 2012-05-09 07:52
As a classroom teacher, it is highly suggested that you clarify the phrase "good faith effort" on the part of students regarding mastery and makeup. This vague and highly subjective phrase opens up a Pandora's Box of controversy leading to a lack of support from within the schools based on my experiences. Any teacher with experience will tell you this can lend itself to once again finding a lack of support from administration/Central Office.   2012-05-09 09:53
Chris Shelby, Broadneck HS, cshelby@aacps.org 2012-05-09 12:44
bring back c lock mckinley dixon 2012-05-09 12:51
The more we let kids "off the hook" with "re-do's" and grades daily, the more we undermine the work ethic that this country was founded on and shift emphasis to numbers---grades, school rankings, etc. Are we interested in educating children or in seeing that everyone has an "A"? Obviously, the people advocating for multiple grading of the same assignment have not had to spend any of their evenings at home with stacks of papers. Are we trying to teach young people that deadlines do not count? that doing your best the first time is not important? Then, if so, the new policy should work just fine.   2012-05-09 12:51
If you don't pay your taxes, does the IRS give you credit for paying half? If you don't pay a bill, do you get credit for paying half? This policy encourages laziness! Should teachers have to spend extra time making up a second test, making copies, scheduling redo, and grading a second test because a student didn't do THEIR job?This won't happen in college! The Board puts these policies in place that encourage a lack of responsibility for students, then decides to rate teachers according to student performance!   2012-05-09 14:17
1. Giving students regular chances for retakes adds exponentially to the responsibilies of teachers. Students use the first assignment as a pracitce and make very little effort because they know they can always take it over. Each case should be handled on an individual bases. 2. Giving a minimum of 50% on assessments results in students passing and knowing very little knowledge of the curriculum. When a student then takes a placement test for college they are unable to pass even the basic courses when they have passed the more advanced high school courses. Mary M Clifton South River High School 2012-05-09 14:53
I don't know who you think teachers are but the grading proposal is simple ridiculous. This year, I have close to 180 students and the demands keep piling up. Class sizes keep increasing and our workload as well. This is also a time when financially, teachers are getting nothing in return. All the grading policy will do is drive more teachers out of AACPS and cause teachers who stay to make mistakes etc. because we are being faced with an impossible workload for one person.   2012-05-09 15:10
We are preparing students for the real world correct???? Last time I checked, colleges did not allow redos or require a minimum grade a student can earn. I can certainly understand 9th grade because that is a transition year but after that, students need to pay attention and do the work. Do you know how often a student wants to make up work but sat in my class and did nothing. This is unacceptable.   2012-05-09 15:12
Why does it seem that teachers get less and less say as to what goes on in their classrooms??   2012-05-09 15:13
Just fyi - even with the strike-through, some sentences need editing for missing words, or removing words.   2012-05-09 15:20
The policy is a joke and only further enables lazy kids. Aacps is not raising rigor or expectations, just lowering the bar. That being said, does anyone really think the board is listening to suggestions? They know what they are going to do they just want to act like opinions matter for pr sakes!   2012-05-09 15:57
If students would spend more time at home doing their homework and studying for an hour per night, redo's should not have to be done. We hear so many excuses and get so many notes from parents stating their children had sports practice each night, then errands had to be run, then dinner, then it is too late to get any schoolwork done or studying done. As an educator and parent, I am sickened to know that these parents can make excuses for their kids getting out of schoolwork, yet these parents expect teachers to take the time to do have their student retake a test or given an extra night to do the homework? THIS is what is wrong with education today!!!   2012-05-09 16:06
I have had over a dozen instances this year where students were failing my class at the marking period, however when I added in the mandatory 40% for each failing assignment those students all ended up passing because I was forced, by administrative policy, to give away unearned credit. This is a well intentioned policy that in some ways makes sense, but it does not truly represent our student's performance. Instead it creates a manipulation of student performance. Many of my students enjoy the redo policy and make use of it, but even students find fought with the 40% rule because they work hard and complain about the policy being unfair when the student in the same class receives a 40 for doing nothing. Shouldn't we be most concerned with input on these policies from higher education institutions after our board puts so much emphasis on attending college? There are no mandatory 50% or redos in college. I probably would have less to comment on if we received a pay raise or compensation for extra 20 hours a week that I work.   2012-05-09 16:34
My kids attended a school where this has been in place for some time. Being hard workers, it sickens them that kids can take a test, wr.ite down random answers, not aging studied, see what the test is like, and then come do a redo, and get the same grade that my kids got by actually studying the first time. To be fair, my kids can redo a 91% test or an 82% quiz, but they know what a burden this is on their teachers. Their math teacher carries home so many papers, she has to get a student to help her carry them. It really doesn't make sense.   2012-05-09 20:21
I am a teacher in the county. I do not support the part of the legislation that requires any grade between zero and 50 is able to be disputed. If I have a student who puts out almost no effort and doesn't earn their grade, giving them more time to make it up will only increase my heavy work load. I firmly believe in that students EARN a grade, they shouldn't be given credit for failing a class. I do have certain students that no matter what,put forth very little effort into passing their classes in every subject, not just in the content area I teach. I also have students who miss a lot of school and the truancy and absences do affect their grade because they never bother to turn anything in, despite being told they will not pass if they don't turn in their projects and assignments. PLEASE do not make teaching any harder than it is with the heavy workload. I work about 60 hours a wee kas it is, putting in everal hours after the school day is over at 2:46. Studebts need to be taught how to be held accountable for their grades, not be given a 50% , even if they don't put forth the necessary effort to pass the class. I given my students PLENTY of time to do projects, offer extra help after school twice a week, and being forced to give students even more time to turn things in, will just make the grading process even more laborius. Please do not let this Doomsday Budget stand. A middle school Art Teacher, Anne Arundel County Public Schools 2012-05-09 20:47
Two Points: 1. Reteaching, retesting, and regrading will take HOURS. Who has unlimited time for this. Also, this means much more work for teachers in the core subjects. Gym teachers, art teachers, etc will not be affected by this policy. So, will core teachers receive more pay? 2. We are trying to prepare the kids for college. This idea of retesting is counterproductive in the sense that kids have no incentive to study. Why should they? Just take the test, fail it and try it again. This policy can only take us in a bad direction.   2012-05-10 05:06
I have taught in this county for 25 years. Both my children attended the school where I teach. When my son went to St Mary's College his comment to me the first week was that "Broadneck gave me a false sense of being smarter then I actually am". I here this constantly from other students as well. Yes, our main job is to get them to understand the information. The policy of retaking test and reteaching is outrageous to me. One thing a high school should do other then present the material is to get them ready for the outside world. Call me old fashioned. Whether it be the military, job market or college kids must come prepared. Anne Arundle County will get a reputation fast of having false inflated grades. At our school we do have a redo policy, and I find it most unfair that an A student will get the same grade as a C student because we are to "reteach" and "retest". I really hope people listen to the ones on the front line. Those making these decisions of retesting and reteaching are making a mistake. We live in an age when children have instant access to any question by pushing buttons on the phone. We need to teach them to problem solve and persevere. Diane Riley: Broadneck Senior High driley@aacps.org 2012-05-10 06:48
I would like to know if this has been run past any college professors to see if this policy is truly preparing them for college. It would not hurt to invite major employers to also comment. The policy repeatedly states it is for college and career preparedness. We need to invite comment from those who will be accepting or employing our students.   2012-05-10 06:52
I would gladly follow the policy if given M-Th to teach and Friday to tutor/reteach/reassess/regrade like AACC does. I believe that giving low performing this service is beneficial. I believe that this is harmful and teaches laziness to college bound students. The drop out rate at colleges will increase if we allow students to establish the habit of not studying. Also, I know many teachers who would rather lower the standards than work all of this extra time for free. The workload of teachers is getting ridiculous with all of the technology being added to lessons. Additionally, this will punish good teachers and scare away new teachers. Reteaching should be built into the student schedule by administration. Additionally, a solution needs to be created to deal with the high performing students. What are we doing with those students while reteaching? Challenging busy work that we cant possibly summatively assess (for fear that that would lower a hard working student's grade) is not productive. Plus, how do we provide help for those students, given we are working with low performing students? This system will discourage kids from doing their best given the low performers will be rewarded with much less work. They do not even have to study with this system. They can preview the test and just memorize answers teachers tell them during remediation. I am very disappointed that high school students get these opportunities to encourage laziness. Pay teachers to stay after school to be parents to these kids and I bet you will see a change.   2012-05-10 07:39
let me get this straight: a student does a (homework) assignment poorly, but turns it on time. score: 40%. a student turns in the same homework assignment, but gets a 50% for a "good faith effort". this is the sort of thing that makes sense everywhere but in the real world.   2012-05-10 07:41
It will be extremely difficult/overwhelming for teachers to notify parents/guardians when a student drops two or more letter grades.   2012-05-10 08:06
Good faith effort needs a way for teachers to document. Or perhaps a checklist of good-faith effort or lack thereof.   2012-05-10 08:08
I feel that the reasoning for requiring both a "due date" AND a "deadline" is unclear. This policy does not help promote "college and career readiness" but rather, it enables the student to miss the due date with lesser consequence. Enabling students to miss deadlines simply reinforces the concept that deadlines are flexible, which is not the case in college or for most careers. In college courses, there is one due date. Many college professors will not even consider accepting late work for any credit after the assigned due date. In the work force, there is one deadline for projects, jobs, etc. Even in the retail world, managers have set deadlines in which they are given to reach certain sales goals. People have faced the severe consequences of job termination for missing a deadline. How is it beneficial for the students in Anne Arundel County to learn that it is okay to miss a due date? In the long run, this type of thinking will only be detrimental for them. I agree that there needs to be a county-wide policy on late work, but I completely disagree with the idea of having both a "due date" and a "deadline" for assignments. Also, what type of guidelines will the teaching staff be provided with for creating the "due date" and "deadline?" For instance, could a teacher say that the "due date" is the beginning of the class period and the "deadline" is dismissal that same day? I sincerely hope that the Board re-considers this policy, or at least clarifies it further.   2012-05-10 08:15
I think that some of the changes being made to the AACPS grading policy will only hinder students being successful in college or in the workplace. re-dos and 50% for work that wasn't done or work that was done poorly is not a "real world" experience. As teachers, part of our juob is to prepare them for what lies ahead. To reward students with points or grades for work that wasn't done teaches them the wrong lesson. Our principals would not accept that kind of effort from teachers. Board od Ed. directors would not accept that kind of effort from the principals. The superintendent would not accept that effort from his directors. Policies are no longer holding kids accountable for what the do not do. Excuses are made and accepted. The idea of a "do over" simply because you didn't like the grade you received is unfathomable. Taking a lower grade will hopefully motivate that student to perform better when given the opportunity. These changes do nothing to raise the bar for academic standards and success. As we look at the American Educational System and compare it to other, more successful systems around the globe, we see how far behind our system has fallen. Some of these changes will only increase the gap that already exists when makeing those systemic comparisons. Dana Dobbs ddobbs@aacps.org 2012-05-10 08:45
If I have 3 high school "preps" and I stay after for reteaching on 3 days + another day for retesting + another day for a faculty meeting + another day for a department meeting + another three days for planning meetings, that adds up to 9 days a week. The math doesnt work on that, especially since I would need other time to individually plan, xerox, and grade. Before increasing our workload, someone needs to plan out our time better. With 180 students this reteaching and retesting things seems ridiculous especially since the only kids who do poorly for me are the ones who do not do their assigned "study skill," and homework.   2012-05-10 09:08
  Social Studies Departmant Severna Park Sr. High School 2012-05-10 09:08
Does the increased workload for teachers mean we are getting are salary steps back? I think it is only fair that we should be compensated for the extra hours needed to implement such policies. fhiggins@aacps.org 2012-05-10 09:38
As a teacher and parent in this county I am greatly disheartened by the proposed changes to the school system's grading policy. Over the past several years... the mantra of this school system has been to increase the RIGOR of our academic instruction and our expectations for young people. Where is the RIGOR in these proposed changes? Where is the RIGOR for the expectation that students study for assessments and turn assignments/projects in on time? How are these low expections preparing students for future careers and college? David Britton dsbritton@aacps.org 2012-05-10 09:43
P. 4 - #7a, p. 6 #5a and p. 6 #3b - I feel that the terms deadline and due date are too confusing. There needs to be more clarification, or a set "deadline" (like one week after the due date.) P. 7, letter c - the homework time is too high for elementary students. 5-10 minutes is plenty of structured homework time for preK or K. The rest of the elementary grades are too high as well. The middle and high school times do not match the weight we are now going to impose on them. If we are only counting the homework for 10% of the course grade, then it should be 10% of the time a child spends. This would amount to 40 minutes a night, not 90. We are asking our students to do way too much work outside of school, on top of extracurriculars and other responsibilities. Jeanine Cosh - jcosh@aacps.org 2012-05-10 10:35
Time alloted for reteaching and retesting will be an issue unless an alternate schedule is also being proposed - one that includes an extra planning period.   2012-05-10 10:40
High School Why are students given 2 weeks for redo of assignment makes more work for teacher should only be 1 week Redo grade and failed grade- final grade should be an average of the 2 grades not the higher How long after due date are students given to hand in make up work after the 10% reduction of score- needs to be written out Why do teachers have to contact parents for D or E so students can bring grade up- that is why we have power teacher Teachers have been given 2 weeks to put in grades I have 180 students 1 week is usually not enough time some teachers have many more students or they are teaching AP classes which take much longer to grade   2012-05-10 12:18
This proposed change may well have unintended negative consequences. The 50% minimal grade may be a boost to in-coming Freshmen, on a one time only basis, but it is counterproductive to rigor and responsibility. Yes, we support our students' success, but this is no way to prepare them for college success nor for success in the workplace. Do-overs disincent preparation and breed distain for reasonable peramiters. Worse, they devalue work habits and work ethic. How will these changes make the US more competitive? Where do hard work and learning to face challenges come in? I accept that there is pressure to met AYP, but we would be teaching our students the wrong things here. We seem to be moving to enabling undesireable behaviors here.   2012-05-10 12:29
If I read this correctly, you would like to implement an easier grading policy? This would not only benefit low achievers (higher grades for all?), but also make AA County Schools look like they are doing a better job??? Seriously, what about educating the children? Making it easier to succeed in school and achieve better grades DOES NOT prepare our children for college or their future careers. I oppose this and all other attempts you have made to implement the "honors for all" mentality.... VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!   2012-05-10 12:39
There is entirely too much micro-managing in these proposed changes. Were working teachers even brought into these discussions? Teachers still need to have some discretion and judgment in making some of these calls. What were all those grad classes for? When will all this mandated extra reteaching, regrading, etc actually happen? Do you think that we don't currently work with our students outside of class time? This brings to mind the judicial system's use of mandatory sentencing, not allowing the experts the opportunity to use their best judgment and experience. Please, let us not go down that path again. AACPS is full of caring, dedicated professionals. Please, let us do our job.   2012-05-10 12:42
If there is a ridiculous policy, Anne Arundel County "leaders" are the first to sign up to implement it. This grading policy fosters a lack of responsibility and laziness. Then Dr. M wants to pilot a policy by which teachers' ratings are linked to student performance! Great idea!!! Let's encourage atudents NOT to study for a test, then hold the teachers accountable! ALL good teachers work with students who have studied and failed a test, BECAUSE a good teacher cares! HOWEVER, why should a teacher be required to make up extra tests for students who don't bother to do their "job"? This is the REAL WORLD where you don't get half credit for not paying your bills or taxes. How about we get our students ready for the real world. The leaders of this county need to stop inventing ways to inflate poor grades to make themselves look good!   2012-05-10 13:20
Once students are aware of the grading policy they will not pay attention in class and expect to be retaught and reassessed everytime. The additional work load on the teachers will take away from the quality of the class. The instruction will be watered down to decrease failures.   2012-05-10 13:23
As others have stated, I feel that this policy is detrimental to the overall success of the student as a person. It plays a numbers game that seems shady, at best. I know there are many debates regarding grading practices, and that honest people can disagree honorably, but the amount of work teachers will be required to do far outweighs the benefits. I am a new teacher who already struggles to keep a balanced work and home life, and if I have to work any more than I already do, I may go over to the private schools, where students are actually held to high standards and teachers are treated as people, not workers.   2012-05-10 13:57
High School, page 6, item 6 VERY good addition-- KEEP! -- 6) A student who exhibits academic dishonesty, as determined by the teacher and administrator, shall receive a zero on the particular assessment/assignment in question. Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and Regulation may result in disciplinary action. Consequences for violations may vary according to the severity of the violation and shall follow the progressive interventions and discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.   2012-05-10 14:00
50% for simply making an effort? why not give everyone an A for effort? or just hand out diplomas? you can only give children equal opportunity to succeed - you cannot succeed for them - they have to do that themselves   2012-05-10 14:01
Comments about homework: For STEM, the average amount of time spent on homework is three hours or more per night. This does not include time spent on weekends for studying and projects. Given the amount of time dedicated to homework, STEM students should have an opportunity to have their homework grade count more than 10% of their overall grade.   2012-05-10 14:02
The provision that states that "teachers shall generally ... return [student]work to students within a week of being submitted to the teacher" is unreasonable for English teachers grading research papers or essays. Do the math: if a teacher needs to grade over a hundred papers and spends 30 minutes on each one that equals 150 hours of work. Even if a teacher could reduce the time spent on evaluating each paper to ten minutes each, he or she would still need 16 2/3 hours. There are not sixteen spare hours in a typical teacher work week. To do that, teachers would have to do nothing else: no other grading, no planning, no meetings, no after school help, no parent contacts, no discipline referral forms, no email correspondence, and still time would have to come from a teacher's personal life.   2012-05-10 14:27
What about the new grading policy emphasizes "college and career readiness"?! It's absurd to think that minimum grades of 50%, whether "good faith" or "late after two weeks" are acceptable. Why not go all the way and call it the "We're going to graduate every one by any means necessary, even when they don't deserve to" Policy ? In college a student may receive an individual part of the grade for group projects, but one of things you learned was GET IT DONE. In my University of Maryland courses, no professors wanted to hear complaining about who wasn't carrying the workload. You get assigned a project and get it done. At my professional setting, if a client wasn't up to snuff, I didn't care whose fault it was, I cared that the project wasn't done. This is the real world. Stop trying to lower standards and kowtow to this generation. They are still not going to be able to compete with the rest of the world when the rest of the world is HOLDING KIDS TO DEMANDING AND HIGH ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS.   2012-05-10 15:20
Not only do parents, but so do teachers have concerns about these new policies. Most disturbing is trying to reduce homework to only 10% of a course grade. You are not rewarding hard work of those students who actually do their homework and a high grade in that area could bring up their grade if they were on the fence between 2 grades.   2012-05-10 17:04
Teachers are very concerned about the amount of extra work involved in the new make up policy. This was tried at the high schools last semester and it didnt work: kids didn't try to do well the first time on tests because they knew they could just make it up later. This should only be on a limited basis where the teacher feels a redo is necessary because the kids didn't get the concept or limit it to one per child per class per quarter or something similar.   2012-05-10 17:08
I agree with the re-do policy. As a county employee and a parent, I want my child to have every opportunity to master the content they are being taught. I currently teach at a school where many do not share my philosophy and it is disheartening. Why wouldn't we give our students every chance to be successful. It's that the goal, to educate them. Not to stroke our own egos.   2012-05-10 17:55
In general, I view many of the changes to lower standards and make it easier for students to achieve higher grades without earning. Specifically, (1)due dates and deadlines - to be successful in life students need to learn to manage to due dates and that there are consequences when they don't meet them; (2) lower % for homework - this lowers the incentive to complete homework. Enabling laziness.; (3) definitions of letter grades - inflates the real level. I am discouraged with AACPS. I view a continued pattern of lowering standards. Students will not rise by making it easier. Such changes are a diservice for preparing the student to be productive and successful adults. My daughter is in 6th grade at CMS and part of homegenerous program. At CES, she was in the advanced program for Math and English. My daughter has not learned a new math concept yet at CMS. She is not challenged and dislikes school now. I moved to edgewater 6 years ago and made sacrifices so my kids could go to CES, CMS, and SRHS. Prior to making this move, I studied the school's performance and programs. I was impressed. This year has been discouraging with the new standarization at CMS. I can't continue my children in the AACPS programs if this new policy is accepted. I want my childrened to be challenged to work hard to achieve A's and not given multiple chances. Without standards, the students will become lazy, unproductive, and bored. That is when children get into trouble. I will have to decide to move out of the county to a county that has the same values or move to an area that is more affordable so I can afford to send my children to private school. Christine.a.reed@gmail.com 2012-05-10 19:00
Regarding extra credit for High School students, there should be some latitude for teachers to offer extra credit when they believe a specific situation warrants. For instance: a student has a good attendance record, participates in class and completes assignments and homework, yet struggles with a portion of the course content. The teacher should be able to offer extra credit so the student has an opportunity to complete an additional assignment related to the subject in order to increase the likelihood coursework will actually be learned. Linda Ballantine, ballantine5@msn.com 2012-05-10 19:44
How is giving a child a 50% if they didn't earn a 50% raising the bar? Our grading system is already lower than that of many other schools across the country. MANY schools use the 93-100=A, etc. and anything LOWER than a 70 is failing. How is it that MD schools are ranked so highly if our grading scaled is drummed down? How can we prepare our students to complete in college or the work force if we give them grades....inflated grades at that? I am all for students being allowed to redo certain assignments. But I will not allow any or every assessment to be made up. The work load of teachers is already ridiculous. Some of us have to come up with our own assessments each time we give one. Writing SR's is no piece of cake. Telling us we have to create yet another assessment each time is not practical. There are not redos in life on everything. In the 16 years I have been teaching, my individuality as teacher and authority have been stripped away, little by little. In a time when it is hard to hire and retain good teachers, why is imposing more work on us the answer? Who is going to ever make the parents and students accountable for their own education and destiny? I don't remember my parents ever blaming my teachers for a grade I earned. It is things like this, not the challenging children I teach each day, that make me want to get out of teaching.   2012-05-10 20:14
The proposed regulation encourages mediocore performance from our students and undue stress from our teachers. Just reading about deadlines versus due dates was daunting, Maryland already has a more relaxed grading than many other states. When we began coming up with "innovative" and elaborate grading systems such as this the focus appears to be not on the true learning but on simply passing. All the while, good teachers are still being made to feel that no matter how good they are it's just not good enough. Putting such rigid controls around grading shows that there is very little faith in teachers and our ability to made sound and consistent decisions about grading. Ronni Grimes 2012-05-10 20:23
The draft, as presented, is terrible. How can you expect anyone to review such a cluttered document. It is a perfect example of too many cooks in the kitchen. This document is a work in progress and should not be presented in this fashion. A draft should be a step along the way and should be presented for public view without all the mark-ups. Present a draft, then, if change is required, present the next draft, just like you do in school. If this paper was turned into a teacher it would be returned as unacceptable. Frankly, I am very disappointed in how this material has been presented for review. I would be surprised if many people read through the entire document. The redo policy, on the whole, does not help anyone. What kind of lesson are we trying to teach our kids? Will this prepare them for the rigors of college or the workplace? I think not. Due dates and deadlines? They are different now? What gives? A middle school teacher with four sections and upwards of 120 students is going to have manage this? Is it no wonder that most homework in middle school is graded on whether you turned it in (or showed it to the teacher), not how well you did on it. We can do better than this for our kids. Michael N. Cumberpatch mcumberpatch@verizon.net 2012-05-11 00:02
  Mary Jo Ryan adamsburg@verizon.net 2012-05-11 06:40
All of our standards require that we "increase rigor" in our classrooms. How is giving away grades doing so? Any decent teacher will work with struggling students and can decide for themselves how to help those students improve their grades and succeed, we do not need strict policies to adhere to.   2012-05-11 06:50
The "good faith" attempt is opening the teachers up for backlash from parents.   2012-05-11 07:29
In the working world a deadline is the same as a due date it is a diservice to teach children otherwise.   2012-05-11 07:30
Teachers should be allow to deny certain assignments late, for example the students are given a review sheet for a test that the teacher is going to go over the answers then the student should be allowed to turn in the assignment late because they are going over the answers in class. If it is not counted at all because the teacher can't accept late assignments then less students will complete it. Also teachers who have a no late policy on homework have more students turn in homework on time than teachers who accept assignments late. Additionally students should be prepare to turn in assignments on time, it doesn't help them later in their educational or career to think that anything can be handed in late.   2012-05-11 07:33
Students that complain they have too much homework are frequently students in honors and ap classes which is then understandable that they have more homework than students in standard classes.   2012-05-11 07:34
When a student recieves a minimum grade of 50% on an assessment when they actually earned less than that, a lot of the time there was no effort put in so it's basically giving the student a grade, not them earning it.   2012-05-11 08:22
Thank God I sent my son's to a catholic school where they learned that a 79% is a 79% and equals a "C" No exceptions , no redo's , no bumping the grade -- you earn yur mark. It has carried them through life where it is interpreted that you earn $$$$$ and that is it   2012-05-11 09:03
For high school students - particularly after grade 9 - please clarify how many times a student may redo an assignment or test. We had an instance last year of a student retaking a math test 3 or 4 times until that student finally got above a D or C because the student was worried about staying in the top 10% of his class or getting into an excellent college. This is setting up a child for failure when they get to university. No top rated college is going to let a student retake an exam more than once (if at all). One chance to redo a test or paper is plenty at the high school level, especially in grades 10-12 once the student is used to being in high school. And it keeps it fair for college bound students who got a B the first time around and can't redo it. Arundel High School parent 2012-05-11 09:05
This policy does not reflect our goals as educatiors. I thought we were preparing students to become productive citizens. I do not want a doctor who wants to redo my surgery several times until he gets it. We are to instill a love for learning---the process involves hard work and dedication with a reward and feeling of accomplishment at the end. Our standards should be higher than do little and get a 50%, redo until you get a 70%. These revisions DO NOT require rigor and MASTERY of the subject -- they reflect an increase of teacher work load with no actual benefit to the learning process. Furthermore, more parent contact by the teachers is another burden. The parents have parent connect to follow their child's progress. I have 176 students and am drowning in paperwork. I do contact parents but CANNOT contact parents every time their child fails an assessment. Where is the reponsibility of the student in this senerio. I am witnessing a breakdown in our system--we are teaching irresponsibility and mediocrity.I had 4 children graduate fromm Anne Arundel County and am very proud of them and their work ethic. I am recommending that my grandchildren go to Howard County or a private school. The present state of affairs in thecounty schools is deplorable. PS A?B day is a failure--we cover less material each year--my students are being deprived of a decent education. Donna Schafer dschafer@aacps.org 2012-05-11 11:02
The necessity of a due date and a deadline for homework assignments could make assigned reading and assignments to asses if assigned reading were completed, especially in an English class could make it very difficult to have meaningful class discussions. Especially when in volved with a long work such as a novel that would require reading on several consecutive nights. Also this would eliminate the ability to review a quiz or test in class immediately, cutting off a valuable way to give students immediate feedback on their work. Any student retaking such an assessment would have a decided advantage over a class mate. Ross Stimely dstimely@aacps.org 2012-05-11 11:17
I do not believe that studetns should be given the ability to redo assessments. Your document says over and over agin that your goal is to make these students college and career ready. No student in college will get to redo work. No employee will be told it is OK for them to do substandard work, and have the opportunity to do it over when they are ready to do it right. Also, what si the difference between a due date and a deadline? In college and the real world, they are the same thing. How are you preparing students by allowing them to hand work in late? Are your teachers given a due date and a deadline for grade completion? One of the most important aspects of an education is to teach personal responsibilty for achievement. Students may end up with better grades by allowing them to do over, but what have they learned about standards, and time management, giving every thing they do their best effort? This will handicap these students in college and the real world. It may make you look good in terms of numbers and statistics, but it will leave students unprepared for the real world.   2012-05-11 12:00
My overall assessment of the new grading policy is that it undermines and diminishes the professional discretion of the classroom teacher. It does so by placing increasingly strict requirements on teachers in terms of documentation and timeliness while simultaneously relaxing those same expectations of students. This will enable student irresponsibility and fail to adequately provide appropriate preparation for post graduate life.   2012-05-11 12:36
My specific objections to the new policy are to the 50% minimum grade and the generous (to the point of absurdity) redo policy. These policies have been implemented already in the high school where I teach with the result of increased apathy and entitlement on the part of students across the academic and demographic spectrum and an overall decline in true academic progress.   2012-05-11 12:36
Thank you for clarifying in section 2 that the minimum grade shall be assigned when students make a good faith effort, and that no work still equals no credit (zero)! It is ridiculous that administrators in some schools this year (like Marley Middle) wanted to force teachers to award 50% for students who did made zero effort. I'm still not sure 50% is the appropriate designation, perhaps it should be 40%. Marley Middle 2012-05-11 12:37
I don't see how this supports the rigor mentioned in the first statement . This will at the very least double the workload of teachers. Keith Brezina 2012-05-11 13:02
How sad that many of the comments chastise teachers for not wanting to do "what's best for the children," when that is not the issue. In what other profession do we expect the professionals to work extra time without due compensation? Lawyers and doctors bill by the hour or the visit. Teachers in this county haven't had a raise in five years! Walk a mile in their shoes! These revisions are absurd.   2012-05-11 14:29
How often in "real life" do we get re-do's?   2012-05-11 15:17
As a parent and taxpayer, I am appalled by the suggested changes in the grading policy for high schools. You are always saying you want rigor in the classrooms but where is the rigor in your new policy. You always say you want to prepare students for college and the work world but your new policy does not reflect this mind-set. To begin with you start this mediocre education at the elementary level where you have stopped teaching basic things like handwriting. High school students not only can't write cursive writing but neither can they read it. Their handwriting looks like they put the pencil between their toes and tried to make some marks on a piece of paper. What happened to pride in one's work? You constantly say rigor. What kind of rigor is there in giving 50% for making an honest attempt. There is no honesty in the youth of today--they have been taught to lie and cheat and can do it with a straight face. Is this what we want in colleges and the workplace? No college gives 50% for an effort. So are we really preparing them for college? NO!! Just look at how many of the students who attend AACC must take a remedial class or two or three because they do not meet the criteria for the school. What will happen with your new proposal? We will be sending dumber kids to the college and become the laughing stock of the college. Even if they do get accepted to a 4 year college those who passed with 50% will be gone after the first semester because they won't be able to compete with those school systems who really had rigor and didn't just talk about it. In the workplace I can't do 50% of my job, stop working and then say "I made an effort so give me my full pay". What happens when a teen has a job delivering pizza to a home 8 miles away from the store. After he has driven 4 miles he gets tired, stops and eats the pizza because it smells so good and then returns to the store. His boss asks him about the delivery and he replies by saying "I tried and put forth my best effort but I got tired and it smelled so good that I just had to eat it". How long do you think he'll have a job? The standards in our school system are already so low. Our AP scores in most of the schools are an embarassment because the courses have been so watered down to help the kids who have been "duped" into taking AP courses that they are not qualified to take. What ever happened to good old basic skills and higher standards to make a person ready for the work world or college? I am not sure why you and the rest of your cronies are so hell-bent on ruining the present and future education of our students. Remember the youth of today will be our future doctors, politicians and will be taking care of you in your nursing home years. Do you want an individual making decisions about your care who really only mastered 50% of the material they learned in their schooling? I know I don't. Quit being so afraid of parents and have the guts to stand up to them and tell them their child needs to rise up to higher standards or fail.   2012-05-11 18:32
1)I am not clear on the homework requirement for middle school, especially for the non-core (encore) classes. Are you saying that each time the class meets, homework will be assigned? Some of these teachers teach over 300 students. I believe it would certainly amount to some kind of work-load issues. 2) Other work load issued will affect teachers when it comes to entering in the grade book within a week of receiving asdsignments. For teachers who have assigned research papers, projects etc., (middle and high school level) and could potentially have 150-300 students, there really is no way without creating workload issues that the grades will be ready to be posted within a week. 3) If a due date is given to students, followed by a deadline, that should be the drop dead date for submitting assignments. What are we teaching our students, if we consistently accept work turned in late? Not responsibility, that's for sure. We are not preparing our high school students for the college/career track when they consistently are allowed to turn in late work and do-overs. That does not happen either in college or the real world. I do not believe work submitted after the deadline (and keep in mind that this is after a due date as well) should be accepted except for verified illnesses or emergencies. 4) I believe that 1st and 2nd grade should be on the same grading style/scale as the 3rd-5th grades. 5) I think the regulations/procedures should indicate that the reteaching, do-overs for assessments will be given at set times determined by the teacher. Teachers do not get paid for lunch yet administrators, Board members and Riva Road staff seem to think that this is time that the teachers should be spending with the students. Teachers need to be given the perogative to determine when she/he will be available to work with the students so that unpaid lunches and contractual planning time is not taken away.   2012-05-11 20:24
As a tax payer and concerned citizen, I am all but convinced that the proposed changes to the grading policy demonstrate a lack of intuitiveness regarding the rigor that students need for tomorrow's world. These changes will do nothing but continue to dumb down the student population of the aacps. Have you not seen the lastest rankings of the top schools and school systems in the country (released within the last few days)? The aacps report card was abysmal. AP scores were horrendous. In addition to that, examine last year's TELLMaryland (Governor's) Survey results and it becomes abundantly clear that the aacps is hitting one pothole after another on its (the Supt's.) so-called Journey To Greatness. In fact, I haven't heard Maxwell use that ridiculous phrase for quite sometime. Perhaps he is beginning to realize that the aacps educational system is in more than just a little trouble. And these insanely stupid changes to the grading policy are definitely not the answer. Education starts with discipline. Without discipline, there is no education. More and more students are coming to school each day less and less prepared to learn. And they are bringing with them all sorts of discipline problems that get in the way of teachers doing their jobs. There's no need to change the grading policy. What there is a need for, however, is to stop blaming eveything on the teachers and stand up to the parents and start making them accountable for the students (children) they are raising. Until that happens, the aacps will never be on a Jouney To Greatness. The system will remain in a quagmire, in the middle of the pack, just as it is in the TELLMaryland Survey. I'd be surprised if parts of the policy changes are not challenged through the legal system. A teachers association challenged a board of ed in Texas where the judge ruled in favor of the teachers association, indicating that teachers cannot be coerced into giving students grades they did not earn. I know of several individuals who will be sending copies of the policy (when passed) to the Maryland Chappter of the ACLU and to Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU (NYC) for legal scrutiny. I'm certain MSEA's legal team will be sent a copy as well. It will be very interesting to see how it all pans out. In the meantime, I suppose the system will continue on with its rigor, relevance, and the ridiculous. As for me, I will be praying for all of you misguided people, hoping that before it's too late for our children you will wake up and come to your senses and drop this foolishness. Thanks for the opportunity for input. Unlikely you'll actually be listening, but thanks nonetheless.   2012-05-11 20:49
I am very concerned about teacher workload issues with respect to the demands of this grading policy. Also, it is not responsible to accept past due work at any time during a marking period. What is the meaning of a deadline, if work can still be submitted beyond that? Students must be given more dates where all students are in sync within a marking period, especially in mathematics where the concepts are cumulative. This policy will offer students a false sense of security in being able to makeup work or redo work. If students don't keep up, the work will snow ball on them and they will become overwhelmed. Some students will try to do all work at the end of a marking period. Will they have really learned anything? Who knows because the assessment on it has already past.   2012-05-14 15:53
I was wondering where I will get the time to grade all these redos when it already takes hours to grade tests with ecrs and bcrs? I just spent an extra 6 hours outside of my contracted time to grade 4 class sets of tests. Now I get to reteach and regrade them a second time. All without financial compensation.   2012-05-14 18:22
Why are some principals requiring teachers to raise final marking period grades to 50% as a minimum. If a student chooses not to do work, why am I required to raise their grade?   2012-05-14 18:28
he draft still documents percentages that result in letter grades. Should this be deleted, since we are now using number grades? Ashworth - Arundel Middle 2012-05-15 05:00
Maybe I missed it, but are we sticking with the percentages? If we are, could we require a change in the way we report grades? Could we make the lowest grade that we (teachers) record a 50% or 55%. There are students that have destroyed their chance of passing for the year because they had/ have a low percentage one or two marking periods. With the letter system, they could pass for the year (except for DDEE or DEDE). Now they can't. Brenda Kirkland bkirkland@aacps.org 2012-05-15 20:25
On pages 17 and 18 of the draft, there are items crossed out but not replaced. These items deal with unlawful and excessive absences. Although deletion of these two items will alleviate some teacher workload (having count and keep track of unexcused absences), I am concerned about not having a consequence for students having uncoded/unexcused absences. If there are no consequences for not bringing in notes explaining the absences, why should we bother to code them (02 = illness, 01 = death in family, etc.)? Why should we bother even keeping track of them? It is my understanding that attendance records are legal documents - how does the deletion of these items affect this legal issue? Scott Rundle, Broadneck HS, srundle@aacps.org 2012-05-16 07:29
Grading Policy is too vague, words such as: "good faith effort" - who determines a student's good faith effort? too vague/unclear another phrase that needs to be addressed: " due date and deadline" are these the same? I know for the IRS, banking industry and pregnancy they are different - will this be a new mandate that teachers will have to include? What about on h.w. assignments? Will a child be able to go over it in class and turn it in and get a 10% reduction in the grade? There are many questions to be answered. Why are parents included as part of the grading policy? Has anyone considered the time the teachers will need to have students redo assignments every week before, during, and after school? Teachers will have to meet with the student, are you giving the teachers time to do this? Their planning time is already taken by data collecting and other professional development and now you want to add to their plate. Most teachers would love to be able to reteach during class or before or after school - often those students that need to take advantage of it do not, they choose. The redo policy (which it is not named this in the draft) sounds like a great idea. That means if a student earns an 86% on an assignment they can meet with the teacher and redo it in two weeks (What if this overlaps into another marking period?) for the higher grade? Or is this for only assignments that do not meet the standard, say, 60% or lower. Is it fradulant to give a 50% on an assignment? Will colleges view students from AACPS differently than others? If one does the calculation of say these grades: 82, 90, 85, 65, 95, 77, 87, 50 (given this min grade) and 95 and if you turn the 50 into a 0 (if the student did not get any of it correct) the percentages would be very different: 81% vs. 75% - thus changing their gpa, etc. What are we doing to our students? Setting them up to flunk out of college? But the wording says we are preparing them for college and the work place. These two places will not follow the same protocol as it is set under this grading policy. The solution - simply go to a 4 point system and then you will not have such controversy and debate. Be clear in your wording "good faith", really?   2012-05-16 13:27
I am concerned about the reteaching before, during, or after school language. It seems unclear. Will time be alloted for teachers to provide these opportunities? Will other meetings and requirements be removed to allow time for this? I like the idea, but something needs to be taken off of teachers' plates to allow for this.   2012-05-21 14:05
The policy on extra credit should be kept. It helps a lot.   2012-05-22 14:44
Add retakes for students who get lower than a certain grade. This will help many studnts and raise theschools average. Maxwell cannot do it, so we should help him. Concerned Parent of Stewart Zellin 2012-05-24 12:56
1 - It would be nice to see how far short of the state standards each class's syllabus falls. 2 - No mention is made of the adjustments made to grades based on falsified attendance documents. 3 - No mention is made of the adjustments bade to grades based on race. Regarding #2 and #3 above, I am to understand that this represents a change in policy and these activities will no longer be happening?   2012-05-25 06:44
In your post editing page, you set your cuesrr within your blog post where you want to break the blog post. Then use the icon in the editing buttons that looks like a page with a break in it (it sits to the right of the link/unlink buttons and to the left of the checkmark). Click that button and the page will break and say More. . . The blog posts on your home page will now show only the portion you want to use as the summary. Once you click More. . . it will take you to the full blog post on the stand-alone page inside. It's only the posts on the blogroll page that will be cut short to the specified summaries. qPxI2F1A8C6 2014-06-22 20:02
As a parent of a high schooler the strict grading of giving 85% of the grade based on assessments doesn't really show what the student can do. If the student is not a great test taker the grade reflects that, no actually what they can do based on classwork/projects, etc.   2014-10-07 07:16
I'm not sure if this is where this goes or not, but here are my thoughts. The stated goal of common core is to bring all children DOWN to the same level of education, why do we want to teach to the lowest common denominator? we are not as dumb as the dumbest American, we are as smart as the smartest, the more i read about this the more discussed i am. My question is, is there a chance of AA County doing away with this or should i be looking for a private alternative? Ed Mikus; ed.mikus@gmail.com 2014-10-07 07:55
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