The Grade Recovery Controversy Continues

My last four posts have been devoted entirely to grade recovery.  For the sake of not getting myself stuck in a rut, this one will be the last one for awhile.

Sharon Scholl of Jacksonville Beach had this to say recently:

“It is impossible for the public to know what to make of the report that students may raise grades by spending time online doing class work after a class is completed and grades are turned in.

Has the class discipline been so poor that only a few days of actual instruction have taken place all semester anyway?

Is the online material comparable to the classroom material or some watered-down version?

If it’s that easy, why aren’t the students just assigned the online versions in the first place and saved a whole semester of needless classroom work?

What gets dropped by the wayside?  I’d wager it’s good reading and writing skills.

Where is there a place for discussion, for students learning to lay out the reasoning process and to defend the consequences?

Does anyone use common sense in deciding what materials are suitable for online study and which are not?  Until reports of such educational activities include the answers to these and other such relevant questions, we will have no basis upon which to evaluate such practices.”

It doesn’t sound to me like Sharon Scholl has much teaching experience, if any at all.  More often than not, students who qualify for grade recovery ARE the disciplinary problems.  That’s why they failed in the first place.

As I mentioned in previous posts, this looks to me a lot like rewarding poor behavior.  In addition, the schoolwide GPA, the school’s grade, and the public perception of that school would suffer if students who are slackers actually received their failing grades.

It’s all about the numbers.  The fewer failures, the better the numbers.  The better the numbers, the better the perception.

I’m quite sure that administrators and the people who are large and in charge have deliberately put grade recovery, or as it is sometimes called, a “safety net,” into the scheme of things for the sole purpose of coming up with better numbers.

In the meantime, disruptive students are rewarded for their negative behavior.  They learn that there is ALWAYS a second chance waiting for them around the corner.

This, I think, is the biggest disservice to these kids.  We all know that there are very few second chances in life.  If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again, there may not be another chance.

What do you think?  Does your school or school district have a policy for either safety nets or grade recovery?  Let me know what you think.

Coming Tuesday: Is Corporate Sponsorship a Good Idea for Our Schools?