Sep 22, 2012

Tennessee Middle Schools Nix Graded Homework, Extra Credit In Hopes Of Improving TCAP Scores
"Although extra credit is now a thing of the past, grades will also not be reduced for behavioral issues. Meanwhile, homework is intended solely for practice and will not have any effect on a student’s grades."
Good. In the elementary and middle schools, homework is nearly pointless. Oh, I know that we say we don't have enough time during the day, so stuff has to go home. I'm sorry, but a lack of time is not reason enough to send work home. Let them go home and live. Keep the work in the classroom where you can observe and question.

But, if something goes home, I don't think it should be graded. Practice is practice. 

Here's the problem: School isn't about learning and improving. It's about grades. What's my grade? Are we going to grade this? What can my son do to bring up his grade? Are you going to post the grades?

So, teachers give grades. Sometimes, they give lots of grades--you know, the law of averages. If a kid's grades suck, just take a hundred more grades, and everything should work itself out. Hang on, what about the failed assignments? Are we just going to move on and chalk them up to lack of studying or didn't turn them in or didn't follow directions? 

I understand the system. There comes a time when you have to call it. Before that time, though, why doesn't a kid get the opportunity to learn the material and retake the test or quiz or assignment? Are we in it to get 'em or teach 'em?

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