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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 06:22 PM

 

Pueblo's 'no-zero' grade scale to award half-credit for cheating

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/073112_pueblo_grades/pueblos-no-zero-grade-scale-award-half-credit-cheating/

Pueblo's 'no-zero' grade scale to award half-credit for cheating

Dylan Smith
TucsonSentinel.com

A new grading policy at Pueblo Magnet High School will award students who cheat a 50 on their assignments, rather than a zero, a Friday email from the school's principal said.

"We will not be using zeros for any purpose," said the email from Principal Vivi Watt, which described the grading scale as "a 50 point scale, rather than a 100 point scale (sic)."

Most Pueblo teachers contacted about the "no-zero" policy would not comment, citing a fear of retaliation by administrators, but one expressed concern about the change.

"It's a policy that's not thought out very well," said the teacher, who would only speak conditioned on anonymity.

Update: Pedicone: Pueblo's no-zero grading 'crossed the line'
TUSD officials are tossing out a “naive” Pueblo High plan to give students a minimum 50 points on every assignment, even in cases of cheating
.




The Update:

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/080112_pueblo_grades/pedicone-pueblos-no-zero-grading-crossed-line/

Pedicone: Pueblo's no-zero grading 'crossed the line'

Dylan Smith
TucsonSentinel.com

Tucson Unified School District officials are tossing out a "naive" Pueblo High plan to give students a minimum 50 points on every assignment, even in cases of cheating.

Calling a plan to institute "no-zero" grading at Pueblo Magnet High School "well-intentioned" but "naive," TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone said Wednesday that the principal of the South Side school was told, "You can't do that."

The halt to the new grade scale was welcomed by a TUSD board member and at least one Pueblo teacher.

Pueblo's Vivi Watt emailed teachers a new grading scale on Friday, telling them, "We will not be using zeros for any purpose."



My parents, being semi-retired teachers, will probably have a stroke when they hear about this crap. And we wonder why some people ask what the hell is wrong with schools these days.

X-posted to the Education forum.

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Reply Pueblo's 'no-zero' grade scale to award half-credit for cheating (Original post)
PavePusher Aug 2012 OP
enlightenment Aug 2012 #1
mvccd1000 Aug 2012 #2
exboyfil Aug 2012 #3
PavePusher Aug 2012 #4
VeteranTeacher Aug 2012 #5
exboyfil Aug 2012 #7
VeteranTeacher Aug 2012 #6

Response to PavePusher (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 07:17 PM

1. A colleague of mine

recently related a story about a young woman (college student) who believed that her "F" course grade should be changed to a "C - or, I suppose a C minus would be acceptable" because, she said, "as long as you try, you shouldn't fail".

She was disabused of that notion, but it makes us all wonder where she developed an attitude like that. I thought gold stars for effort were something they stopped doing after the 2nd grade or so.

If the Tucson USD is any example, it looks like anything goes for a passing grade. gads.

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Response to PavePusher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:57 AM

2. Glad they put a stop to it, but...

... kind of like the Pontiac Aztec: "How the hell did it ever get that far in the first place?"

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Response to PavePusher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 04:16 AM

3. Contrast with several of

my daughter's teachers grading scale in which you extrapolate the number of points that can be taken off when a wrong answer costs 20% of the total grade (1 of 10 questions for example getting a -2) and easily get a -100% if every answer was wrong. That type of grading was a bit infuriating.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:05 AM

4. That makes no sense at all.

 

WTH are those teachers doing?

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 02:19 PM

5. Penalty for Wrong Answers

While it may be infuriating, this type of grading is done on objective tests by the College Board to penalize guessing. An answer left blank does not have a penalty, but does not contribute to the number of questions needed to pass the exam. A student does not get a negative 100% though, just fails to get credit for passing the test. If you encountered this being used elsewhere on regular classroom testing I would wonder why, especially in the early grade levels.

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Response to VeteranTeacher (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 03:37 AM

7. Honors Chemistry

I just don't think the teacher understood how to weigh the questions.

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Response to PavePusher (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 02:29 PM

6. Sad Thing About This

The sad thing about the no zero policy at Pueblo is that people tend to blame its students and faculty. Yes, there are a large number of entering freshmen who have poor study habits, poor attendance and who will resort to cheating. They enter four and five years behind grade level. Hardly a wonder that they fail, then drop out in droves, but there are many hardworking students that stay and persevere. There have also been good teachers at this school and its graduates have had an excellent retention record at the University of Arizona. The administration creates this "crap," er I mean policy then "informs" the faculty that they will be following orders. It is somewhat akin to "change my water into wine." The tragic thing is with more leadership like this the school is bound to perform poorly resulting in Ms. Watt being removed and the faculty put through the wringer to keep their jobs.

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