The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Big Red 50!

USA Today describes, "The Great Education Debate." And it is a great debate -- should a zero be a zero? There is a growing trend to turn zeros into a 50. In some locales, that means the six weeks (or semester grade) can be no lower than a 50, in other places, it actually means that students cannot receive a grade lower than a 50 on any assignment.

While the debate rages (and I encourage you to resist the strong emotions you feel -- there are strong arguments on each side) check out this quote:
A top proponent of a minimum-50 policy, Thomas Guskey of Georgetown College in Kentucky, acknowledges that there are no studies he knows of that examine whether such approaches increase passing rates.
For all the research we do in education covering every topic under the sun, for all the passion on both sides of this issue, why have there been no studies? We should have studies not only looking at passing rates, but also at general student performance. Are kiddos enticed into trying hard knowing that passing is still possible (as 50-minimum proponents claim) or do underachievers have the same level of skills under both plans?

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