November 25, 2009

Contract for a Curve

I don't know about other teachers, but I don't like to curve my test grades.

I especially don't like to curve the grades when there are still a handful of students who did well. Even more so I don't like to curve test grades when every question on the test came from the homework... and I told them that they were coming from the homework!

If I just automatically curve a set of poor test grades, that is teaching them that you can't really ever fail, and if you do, it won't be that bad. I know that we live in an age of bailouts and other economic assistance when you fail, but that still doesn't mean that it will always happen.

And even if it does... Is that really what you want? Do you want to be bailed out when the reason for your failure is you?

I know that the answer to that question is, more and more, becoming a resounding, "yes!" Our classrooms are filled with people who would genuinely take a passing grade even though they know they don't deserve it. Even though the standard to pass has been lowered to a 60%! That's right, you only need to demonstrate a knowledge of 60% of what you have learned to pass.

Well, I could rant on this for a while, but school is getting ready to start so I must end this post. I did want to show you the Contract for a Curve that I made up last night. I just figured, if they want me to curve their grade, then they are going to need to do something for it.