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Thread: Pre-determined grades for students? Help me understand.

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    Default Pre-determined grades for students? Help me understand.

    So my JTE is sick, and asked me to go to class by myself. The students are presenting a speech they've had to memorize, and I'm to judge their pronounciation, body language, memorization, etc.

    Before I head to class though, he tells me what scores to give each student. He says that the class average is currently too high for our school, and we need to bring it down to around 55-65 per cent.

    I asked why it needs to be low, and he said because the school sets the bar. I asked him "So no matter what the students do, they only get between 55-65 per cent?" and he says yes.

    Seems unfair, but whatever. I knew beforehand that the school system was a little f*cked around here. Still, can anyone explain this to me? I have one kid in class who speaks English nearly as good as I do, and I'm supposed to fail him to bring down his average? Do the kids understand this is happening and are OK with it?

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    Fucking Classy lains's Avatar
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    Thats fucked up, bu Im afraid I cant shed any light...
    I am not wise in the ways of grading Japanese-style.
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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-determined grades for students? Help me understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by mo1518
    Still, can anyone explain this to me? I have one kid in class who speaks English nearly as good as I do


    Sorry I don't have anything constructive to say. That was pretty funny though.
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    Default Re: Pre-determined grades for students? Help me understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by dombay
    Quote Originally Posted by mo1518
    Still, can anyone explain this to me? I have one kid in class who speaks English nearly as good as I do


    Sorry I don't have anything constructive to say. That was pretty funny though.
    Yikes. ops: Would you believe I threw that in for George Carter to catch, but he hasn't taken the bait yet?

    I talked further to my JTE again at lunch, and he explained to me that this school is "a very stupid school" and that the students cannot get high grades. I can't get him to explain further than that. Do other schools have a grade range that they must adhere to? Why even bother testing the kids if you're just arbitrarily assigning their mark according to what the school has established as the norm?

    I guess that's why entrance exam marks are so very important... ?

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    You hit the nail on the head with that last line - the grades they get IN school don't count towards them getting into SHS / University.

    So that's why the grading policy is weird. I've never heard of people being told exactly what grades to give - I think some people have been told what the class average should be in the past?

    Are you at a JHS, a non-academic SHS, or something else?

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    NEKO FEVER! ChuChuRocket!'s Avatar
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    Junior High School or Senior high School?

    As a JHS teacher I often wonder if grades mean anything. Half the class will get under 50% on a test and yet we keep moving onto new subjects. Never looking back.

    Seems that in JHS the only grades that matter are the ones on the High School Entrance exams.

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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Damn, I explained this in another thread, but now I can't find it.
    Give the kids whatever grade you like, initially. Then, standardize your grades. So, if your initial system gives an average of 30%, everyone's grades go up. If your initial system gives an average of 80%, everyone's grades go down.
    This is not a Japanese thing. It is probably used in your home country. It certainly is in Australia. In fact, in Victoria, up until the introduction of the VCE in 1988, it was mandatory for at least 20% of students to fail their final year of high school!
    It may seems screwy, but it makes sense. If your class "average" is 85%, well, that score is hardly "average" (a high 'D' or low 'C' (55-65%) is seen to be average), and the task was not challenging enough, so you need to adjust the marks down. If everyone in the class is getting an 'A', getting top marks becomes meaningless.
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    I'm at a SHS. I was clearly told what grades to give the kids - I could have done it before class and just pretended to scribble during the presentations.

    I know the JTE hates one of the kids in class (always picking on him, told me to grade him a 0 in all categories) so as a bit of revenge I gave him 7/10 total. Can't wait to see sensei's eyes bug out at that. I was thinking of just grading them all exactly as I saw fit, but I get the feeling he's going to change the marks no matter what.

    Anyways, I can accept the fact that low entrance exams would get you placed in a lower-end school, but man that's some depressing shit to work hard for weeks on a speech just to have a 3/10 thrown at it so the class average doesn't balloon too much.

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    Racist Ojichan Powers's Avatar
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    I completely disagree with bellcurving the class Wicket, at a sample size of 20-40 kids, they are just not going to fit on a standard deviation model neatly.

    Don't design tests that need to be fixed after the fact, know your students abilities and design the test so that the median (not average) is 70%-75%!

    /rant over

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    How about making a test that covers the material. And then grade them out of a 100% to see how well they know the material?

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    Why not just let them know they can't get higher then 65%, so don't bother working too hard?

    Then, not only do they save a lot of time, but you also can fairly give them 65%'s without feeling guilty, because the work will suck.

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    Racist Ojichan Powers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerico2k
    How about making a test that covers the material. And then grade them out of a 100% to see how well they know the material?
    Well obviously, the point is the proper scaling of the difficulty level, and whether you do it before or after they take the test.

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    This isn't about adjusting the task difficulties or sliding the grade scale around, this is about assigning each child a score based on the 55-65 per cent allowable range of scores as set out by the school (or school's "status").

    If the assignment was to tie their fucking shoes, the teacher would still give them 55-65 per cent, no matter if they got the bunny around the tree and through the hole or not. It's bullshit.

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    Racist Ojichan Powers's Avatar
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    Yeah I know, I'm addressing wicket's post. Your OP is seriously fucked up.

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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powers
    I completely disagree with bellcurving the class Wicket, at a sample size of 20-40 kids, they are just not going to fit on a standard deviation model neatly.

    Don't design tests that need to be fixed after the fact, know your students abilities and design the test so that the median (not average) is 70%-75%!

    /rant over
    In my own defense, my classes usually score 60-ish% as an average on the tasks I set them.
    I didn't say I was in love with standardising, just that it's a common system,not just used in Japan.
    However I would argue that if the median is 75, the test isn't challenging enough.
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    I don't have that problem in my schools, in fact, one of the teachers I sorta work with is pretty strict about his grading, doesn't give them a lot of room in English. He was more harsh than I was when it came to grading the tests...

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    I don't agree with curving. One, cause if you use a standard curve, that fucks the smart kids, and two, if you use a curve off of the highest score, everyone gets pissed when someone gets a perfect score (this happened to me a lot in college - I had to start hiding my papers as soon as I got them back).

    I think that if everyone can do well, then that's great. If not, then that's too bad. If it doesn't seem like they're being challenged, the material itself should be made harder - a curve should not be set.

    However, at my school, I'm told that I'm not supposed to give below a B on oral tests unless they are completely incapable of talking/reading at all.

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    Senior Member kurara's Avatar
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    I also don't believe in curving. If the assignment was "too easy," that is no fault of the students. Their task was to demonstrate understanding through the assignment/test. If everyone gets 100%, then that means they demonstrated their knowledge well. If they all get zeros, then they either didn't understand or the teacher told them the wrong thing to memorize/know ;p

    I think curving is like having a contest and then only after everyone has performed, applying a handicap to certain people to level it out.

    I feel that if you find too many people failing or passing on something, then adjust the following assignments/tests accordingly rather than altering the grades of the students.

    I also wonder what the logic of the "20% of the students must fail" that Wicket mentioned is all about. That sounds more like a competition rather than demonstrating understanding. I don't understand it any more than I understood that the schools I was in only allowed 2 students per class to be failed, no matter how badly they did - and they were also not held back unless their parents wanted them to be.
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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    I hate bell curves.

    They disadvantage students who are struggling with the work but then work really hard to bring themselves to a level where they are able to demonstrate that they DO understand the material.

    At University and high school level that also disadvantages students who are from less well-off socio-economic backgrounds too. So Johnny who has to work at Woolies to pay his rent has to work even harder to not only make sure he understands the material but also to compensate for the fact that some little shit in Vaucluse whose mummy and daddy pay for everything gets a high distinction. Johnny understands but little bitch face silver spoon Jilly didn't have to work nearly as hard and takes with her the right to reduce Johnny's mark that he worked bloody hard for.

    Tests should test an understanding of material. Making them look neat just discourages hard working but not particularly bright or lucky students and that sucks.
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    One more for the hatred of bell curves.

    At my college, I had one class of 5 people. One would go on to be the valedictorian. We were all at least double majors (2 triple majors) and were in this high-level class because we had shown interest above all the jocks and morons.

    Thanks to my university's grade distribution standard, I had a 1 in 5 chance of failing. Considering the valedictorian pretty much had the A's covered, I had 1 in 4 of failing. What's so crazy about 5 intelligent people signing up for the same class and all working really hard and getting A's? This isn't Survivor. I shouldn't have to break my classmates' kneecaps just to get a higher grade.

    Wouldn't I deserve the same grade regardless of whether I happened to sign up with 4 morons or 4 overachievers?

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