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Anyone have experience using "The Power of I"?

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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:56 PM
Original message
Anyone have experience using "The Power of I"?
This has been proposed by our board. Involves giving kids "I" (incomplete) if they don't make an A, B, or C on an assignment or test. No zeros are allowed. Kids MUST complete work in a satisfactory manner before the I is removed. Suppose the idea is that parent sees an I on report card & will inquire about it. But this only happens if parents EVEN SEE THE REPORT CARD.

I understand the idea, but the only info we can get is from the lower levels, through middle-school. They are talking about us using it on the HS level.

Just wondered if anyone could tell me how it has worked (or not) for them.
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. I would be for it.
Edited on Sat Apr-25-09 11:02 PM by stopbush
We can check our kids grades online any time of the day, and we often do. However, it's not mandated that every teacher keep their classes up to the minute, so it's useless with some. Worse, once the kids hit HS, there are no assignments listed in advance as there are in elem & middle school. Often one doesn't know that a HS kid has missed an assignment until an F shows up in their grades, and many HS teachers don't allow late work to be turned in for credit.

An Incomplete would allow us to get the work done and a grade better than an F earned.
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I use an online gradebook already. I also accept late assignments for
reduced credit. It is extremely difficult to keep the grading up to the minute, especially with all the other demands placed upon us on a daily basis.

I'm just wondering if anyone out there actually has used this & get their feedback on if it really does help, or just sounds good in theory, but tanks in application.

The extra regrading for teachers & "dangling" assignments could be a real bear. Or maybe it will encourage kids to do their best first time around. Hoping someone has experience they can relate back.

In HS we find that many parents don't even see the report cards. Seems like once they have the driver's license & a job, the parents don't seem to have a connection with school anymore. They don't have the control they did when they drove the kids to school & the connection seems to go away. Or something happens.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. We aren't allowed to use it, and it's killing me.
We used to have the option of an I or an F. An F is appropriate in many cases, like deliberately putting forth zero effort (never changing for a gym class), or turning in plagiarized work. An Incomplete was more appropriate if someone had extenuating circumstances and couldn't get an assignment done. The school stopped allowing incompletes because too often the teachers would forget to go back and change the grade, and they couldn't tell if the student deserved credit for the class or not.

Last year, one of my classes had a final project as their final exam grade. They'd been working on it for a few weeks, and the day of the final, one kid turned on his computer and smoke started spewing out the back. I gave him an incomplete, and the administration overrode that and forced me to give him an F. It was not helpful - this was a kid who has special needs, he'd been coming in after hours asking for extra help. We eventually recovered his file by pulling the harddrive and putting it in another machine and he did eventually get a decent grade in the class, but it was harmful to him in the meantime to have an F in the class and it did effect his self-esteem and I could tell he was stressed about it.

If school boards (who are not required to be qualified teachers or even know anything about educational theory) trusted the teachers they hired to do what's best for their students based on individual student needs, they wouldn't be coming up with one-size-fits-all solutions based on the assumption that we are too stupid or incompetent to follow a rational decision making process.

I don't agree with telling us we can't issue any incompletes; I don't agree with policies telling us we can't issue any failing grades. Neither policy is appropriate for all circumstances.
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I concur with every thing you've stated here.
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 01:29 PM by southerncrone
There is a time & place for D's, F's & I's. I feel like this "Power of I" may be more about a CYA method for teachers & school systems. In that respect, I'll comply, because we teachers are ALWAYS blamed as the scapegoat on any thing that goes wrong for a kid these days. If it affords us some type of relief (albeit temporary) from that pressure, then good. My fear is that it will be a nightmare trying to keep up with all the "I's" out there & loads of you state something that many teachers have a hard time keeping control of already. I will include myself in that group. The sheer amount of paperwork required today in CTE (my area) is overwhelming. I am for giving kids with extenuating circumstances all the breaks they need (such as your example); it is often appropiate.

The problem we are concerned about is when do kids begin to learn personal responsibility if not by the time they reach HS? When they go to college or the work force out of high school, they are expected to have that quality in place. We are being hammered already that our graduates are not displaying that quality, & are not prepared for post-secondary work or schooling. We see this as an enabling policy that will keep kids from developing personal responsibility.

In the end, they can end up w/F as the final grade anyway, if they don't perform properly by some as-of-yet-predetermined time. WE fear it is just increasing our already over-loaded plate, perhaps for naught.

Edited for typos.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. Why would parents not see the report card?

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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-29-09 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The kids don't give it to them.
Edited on Wed Apr-29-09 11:58 PM by southerncrone
And parents are so uninvolved with their kid's lives that they don't even bother to inquire when report cards come out, so they can ask the kid for it.

Lots of parents today "don't want any bad news", so they just coast along w/heads in the sand, happier that they don't have to deal with "anything unpleasant". "If I don't see it, it isn't there" mentality.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Unreal
I teach elem school and when I was in a classroom and had to distribute report cards, I ALWAYS gave them to parents. They had to come to school and pick it up. If they never showed, I mailed it and asked for a signature.

It blows my mind that high schools don't follow up with parents like elem schools do.
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Agree that HS could do better on the follow up.
But so many parents don't care & think that when kid gets to HS they have finished raising them, especially when they get the driver's license. Lots of kids tell us they don't see their parents for weeks at a time, between parents working (partying)& kids working, too.

We all know teenagers can be difficult, but lots of parents choose to just ignore the kids & stay away from them as much as they can. (Out of sight, out of mind.) It is really as sad situation.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-30-09 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
7. Not exactly like that.
Our high school is attempting a "standards-based" grading system; you "pass" when you demonstrate mastery of standards. If you don't demonstrate that mastery in some fashion, and numerous options are available, then you keep working until you do.

Students who aren't performing are assigned to an elective to work more intensely on whatever they are having trouble with, and are assigned to summer school if necessary.

Teachers are fairly positive about it, and significantly more students are passing. Not all, though. There are still some who don't perform.

In my classroom, I use "I" as a grade when an assignment was not completed, or when a student did not follow all directions, or did not follow them correctly. It's not a report card grade.

My "I" is reasonably effective.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Talked to a high school junior about this today
Her mom is a co-worker and she comes by and hangs out every now and then.

She told me her school has this program and it is a joke. The kids laugh when they get an I.

She also said she thinks the teachers abuse it. They give As, Bs and Is and have stopped giving Cs, Ds and Fs.
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. This was exactly our concern.
Just a cop-out for kids who do not do work on time, under the guise of illiciting "parental involvement". Will make the district's grades look better, too (the REAL reason for it!).Plus, teachers will be tracking assignments forever, & regrading the same assignment over & over; you know some kids will continually turn in crap work just to keep teacher jumping through hoops. Again, more work for teachers, & allowing students to NOT have a work ethic. Flies in the face of what employers are looking for in employees.

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