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YoYoDog

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09007/940011-298.stm

Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators last night defended a controversial policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student may receive for classroom work, homework or marking periods, saying it's fair and mathematically logical.

Last night, for the first time, administrators publicly defended the policy to the board, saying the 50 percent minimum gives struggling students a chance to recover academically and an incentive to stay in school.

I can just see the future news headlines:

Terrorable plane crash kills 133 people.
Pilot says "I only misjudged the runway length by 50 percent."

or

Surgeons remove wrong leg.
Doctor says "I was only half off!" (HE HE!)

or, finally

Astronomers say "We only missed by one planet"

Can the public school standards get any lower than they already are?

JMHO,
Dan

MaineFarmMom

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Which schools specifically? We know they're not all bad.

ovsfarm

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I don't think I uderstand exactly what they are doing. If a student misses 8 out of 10 questions, they still get a 50%? I guess failing is failing, whether you put a 20% or a 50% on the paper. Or do they mean that if you get only a 51%, then you won't fail your grade and won't have to repeat it?

Another example of low expectations, here in Ohio we have the option of having homeschooled students take a test at the end of the school year or have a certified teacher sign off on their work. The first year I had dd take the test, she did quite well. We later got a form letter from the school district. The first page had all this stern language about how students MUST obtain the district wide minimum percentage on tests in order to be allowed to continue homeschooling. I was quaking in my boots--was her score high enough? Would they possibly require more than the top 10%? I turned to the second page which gave the percentage. 25% That's right, a measley 25%! I was horrified that any student, publicly or home schooled, could be allowed to squeak by with such a low grade. So I guess in PA, that 25% kid would be called a 50% kid? (Which is still apalling in my book--that means they did not master half of the information presented. We go for the 100% mastery philosophy. If dd doesn't get something, we don't move on until she does.)

I think we need to look at education more like the Japanese used to. The grade the student earns is more of a reflection on the schools and parents than the child himself. If Johnny can't succeed in the classroom because he has no support at home, no discipline, no social skills, then that F or E or 50% or whatever is the grade his parents have earned on their parenting. If the material is presented poorly, if there are not enough textbooks, if bullying is so rampant that Johnny doesn't feel safe enough to be able to concentrate on learning, if politics keep things in a constant state of flux, if schools start to pursue high test numbers instead of education, then that failing grade belongs to the school. Johnny has a part of the responsibility, but as a minor child, the lion's share of the blame belongs on the adults entrusted with educating him.

Loriann1971

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Please don't judge the PA school system by the Pittsburgh City Schools. They are horrible. When we were moving here after DH retired from the military, we purposely didn't buy a house in the city limits because the schools are so terrible. Once you leave the city limits each township has their own school district and I assure you, the standards in ours (Just 11 miles from the heart of the city) don't allow someone with a 50% grade to pass.

Callieslamb

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I think the results would be more like giving back only half of your change at McD's. No one that only makes 50% is going to mars or to medical school. Others will still get good marks in school.

mnn2501

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Most inner city schools are bad, they are usually poorer people, who either don't care about their kids education or they are too busy trying to earn enough money to survive to pay attention to their kids schooling. They figure its the schools job, not theirs and unfortunatly many of them are not well educated also.

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What I really look forward to is seeing idiotic dumbing down like this spreading upward into our colleges. Would anyone want to see a brain surgeon who brags about maintaining a 2.0 average through medical school?

It's been my experience the type of kids who score 50% and made Fs mostly on their report cards were the same ones you could depend on to take 30 minutes reading one paragraph in readings class, the same ones who stand at the chalkboad and stare blankly when asked to do a simple math problem, or who sit in the rear of the class, starting blankly ahead and wiping boogers under his desk top for some unsuspecting student to run his hand across later.

We homeschool as well and thank God we are in a position to do so.

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Most inner city schools are bad, they are usually poorer people, who either don't care about their kids education or they are too busy trying to earn enough money to survive to pay attention to their kids schooling. They figure its the schools job, not theirs and unfortunatly many of them are not well educated also.
I do agree it is almost generational as I saw when I lived in the hills of Tennessee (although small town Tennessee schools were awesome when I grew up in the 70s and had teachers who cared and knew everybody).

YoYoDog

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Please don't judge the PA school system by the Pittsburgh City Schools. They are horrible. When we were moving here after DH retired from the military, we purposely didn't buy a house in the city limits because the schools are so terrible. Once you leave the city limits each township has their own school district and I assure you, the standards in ours (Just 11 miles from the heart of the city) don't allow someone with a 50% grade to pass.
I'm not painting with a wide brush, believe me. If you notice I'm from PA.
I'm in a very good school system and I pay HUGE taxes to prove it. That was the only reason I moved to this area and now that my kids are grown I'm not sticking around to continue to pay that much.

I didn't have the time with my work to home school but I made darn sure the I was involved with my kids' education. When I relocated here for work reasons, the ONLY factor in choosing where was the quality of their education.

By the way, I live within ten miles of the city and if I were to tell you where you would know by their reputation in the area why I made the choice that I made.

The kids are gone and it's now time to get serious with the HT lifestyle
(YEAH!) in another area.

Dan

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