Summer School Grading Change?

I haven't seen the written policy but I'm hearing that there are some changes in how kids are going to be graded this summer which will affect not only their GPAs but also how the course participation and success rates will be reported out to us by Brizard et al. Specifically, some teachers are being told that kids taking summer, Saturday, or evening classes won't get permanent F's on their transcripts if they fail the class (along with the original failing grade for the initial pass) but rather Incompletes.  It's not necessarily a bad idea not to penalize kids -- a rough comparison to the change that required teachers to give kids 50 percent credit on failed assignments so as not to pull their grades down so much that they had no chance / gave up trying to pass a course.  But it shouldn't be reported at the end of the summer as a big improvement in performance when it's basically just a bureaucratic change.  Right?


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  • Looks like just a way to report lower failure rates. Any bets on how long before this grade-reporting change will make it to the regular school year?

  • In reply to Curmudgeon:

    This is a sure way for the CEO to meet expectations tied to bonus. Watch for more.

  • good question -- i thought it the 50 percent rule had already made it into the regular school year but maybe that's only in some areas.

    or maybe you're talking about kids who are retaking and failing a class during the regular school year... good question.

  • This is why colleges place such a heavy emphasis on ACT over GPA in looking at CPS students. It's not hard to pass summer school class -- just show up. Failure should hit your GPA. Also, I don't assign homework that is not crucial to learning. You don't do it -- that's a ZERO. You could do it and do such a poor job you could get a 25 %. No way I would implement a 50% rule.

  • I'm not teaching summer school this year, so I haven't heard of this. On a somewhat related note, however: Some of us (cps high school teachers) were asked to help develop pilot "enhanced credit recovery" classes to be used for a few of the more common core course summer school offerings. These were to be essential content-focused and project-based, with the students having to complete the projects in order to get the credit (in other words, do more than just show up). I know that at least the team that worked on our course's curriculum worked hard and came up with a really nice set of lessons and projects. I am not sure how well downtown advertised this option to summer school teachers or coordinators, though. I am wondering if any of these courses are being taught this summer?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I'm interested in learning more about this "enhanced credit recovery". Content focused and project based is good. A far cry from what happens now.

    We were told, not quite in so many words, to pass everyone. What about absences, poor work, no work, etc.? The answer: "Find a way".

    This is my first time teaching summer school. I'd love to put together a full project based curricula. But when would I do such a thing? I'm teaching my class 5 hours straight each day with no paid prep time and no breaks. Not even bathroom breaks are allowed. I work 10 hour days all school year. I just can't bring myself to work 10 hour days over the summer.

    Oh, and we have one security guard (due to budget cuts) for over 1,000 students in the building.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Perhaps try calling the Office of Teaching and Learning? It might still be possible for second semester, if you teach one of the courses involved (I think an English, a Math, and a Science, not sure of all the specifics) And wow, that sounds tough.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    yup....we were told to just pass everyone....MANY times.

  • I've never heard of this 50 percent rule.
    With my students, I leave a blank and call the student over to my desk,and pull up his/her record. Then I type in 'm' (for 'missing') for the missing assignment and hit 'update' to let them see for themselves how much even one missing assignment pulls down the grade. I then back it out and give them two days to turn it in, or I call their parents.
    Most kids are usually shocked and hustle to get the homework done.
    Conversely. with students who haven't been participating, attending or turning in work consistently, I use any work performed as the teachable moment, and also call them over to show them how passing one quiz, being present for one group project, or reading for class participation helps their grade. It often encourages a student who has given up and told himself the work is too hard or that he'll never catch up.
    Even it doesn't motivate them, I still do it, because when the student complains at parent conferences that he didn't know or wasn't told about an assignment, I can remind him of the encounter. Most kids aren't hardboiled enough to be able to hide that they remember, and increases my chances that the parent will help me gang up on the kid, as opposed to automatically making excuses for him, as some parents are wont to do.

  • Does Rahm know this is happening? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  • I'm not sure I'd worry too much about it changing pass rates during summer. The normal pass rates for students during summer school is 95%+, a quite astonishing feat given that's usually the same class they failed in the past. It's pretty obvious that what these students are earning is sweat equity, rather than actually learning anything.

    Summer school has been a major problem for years which has been roundly ignored - there are no standards for what is taught or what students are required to do in order to pass. It's potentially an opportunity to reengage students in the content they failed the first time, but instead CPS uses it as a punitive punishment system. Let's not forget that students can end up in summer school for three reasons - low ISAT scores, failing grades, or low attendance. These are very different issues, but students are all shoved in the same class.

  • The issue with so many 3-6-8 students in summer school is the Gradebook system and IMPACT. Many mistakes in this technology-we saw students get a final grade of C for SAME assignments/grades and get promoted and others with SAME grades in those assignments get a D—Yes, for the very same average! (When do ¼ grades of: F-C-C-A make a D? In Gradebook.) P-12 blames IMPACT, IMPACT blames P-12 = student lose. Don't get me started on how we are STILL missing instructional materials (3 weeks of summer school) and we STILL have bus problems for ESY students. If Mr. Brizard cannot get these basics together...

  • for what it's worth CPS says that there's been no grading change for summer school students -- that schools are supposed to give letter grades not incompletes just like they do during the year.

    whether ever school or area is following the rules is another issue, of course.

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