Monday, July 17, 2017

A's on the rise in U.S. report cards, but SATs flounder

From USA Today:
The good news on America's report cards: More high school teachers are handing out A's. But the bad news is that students aren't necessarily learning more.
Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen.
In 1998, it was 38.9%. By last year, it had grown to 47%.
That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students. Meanwhile, their average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale — suggesting that those A's on report cards might be fool's gold.
Ahh yes, how many times have I heard from parents that "C"s are not acceptable, "A"s and "B"s only? And this would be from parents of average to below average students. The parents of true honor roll students, you know, the ones who really achieve, who earn the top grades, didn't have to tell me anything. It showed up in the work of their children. It was obvious in everything they turned in and in their daily work habits.

The problem is that some teachers have come to accept ridiculously low standards, or they don't want to have to deal with angry parents. So I get students coming into fourth grade who can't read yet have been on the honor roll every year. I used to doubt parents when they told me that. I've learned.

When we used to have honor roll assemblies, some of us would count the number of honor roll students being announced by each teacher. Sometimes we laughed. If there are 16 honor roll students in a second or third grade class of 25, you know that you are going to have a rough time when you get those kids - if you maintain your standards and honesty.