Parent Teacher Conferences were held last night at my son's school. Before crowding ourselves into the gymnasium we were given his progress report. All A's and and A minus except for Algebra 2 and Digital Photography. Those were C's. Imagine my dumbfounded expression when I see an A in Biology and a C in Digital Photography.
We headed straight for the photography teacher. Apparently there was an assignment she hadn't entered in yet and a test on Photo Shop that the kids all have to retake - Austin had one of the highest scores. She assured us that he should have an A after those are entered and completed.
Next on the radar was Mrs. Algebra teacher. I am not sure I am going to like her. My blood pressure became slightly elevated as she went into an explanation of her grading system. Before grading an assignment, she randomly selects 4 or 5 problems that she will check because "I don't have time to check them all." Each assignment is worth 20 points, so if the kids miss one of her randomly selected problems their grade drops 4 or 5 points. If they miss two it drops by half. If they miss three - well, hell, they shouldn't have even bothered to spend an hour plus on the 20 to 30 problems they were assigned.
My son's grade isn't due to poor assignment grades, it is due to his horrible test score on the one test they have had so far. But I am still irked at her grading system. My reasons: 1-It isn't fair to the students to be graded on such a small portion of their assignments. 2- By not assessing all of the problems there is a chance she is overlooking an equation or concept the kids are struggling with. 3-When the students are given back their work, they don't see all of the problems they answered incorrectly. In which case, they are unable to go back and try to discover what they did wrong.
I understand time constraints but I don't think is a fair and correct solution.
Her recommendation is for my son to attend the Math Labs. They are held everyday, either before or after school. Hers are two mornings a week from 6:45 to 7:45. I am all about my son getting a little extra help but right now isn't a great time for him to be going to Math Lab. Until October 1st, he has driver's education after school until 5. If he adds a math lab in the morning, it makes for one heck of a long day, not including nightly homework. He also has a part in the Shakespeare play Twelfth Night which means after driver's ed completes he will have play practice after school.
For right now, my son's dad has offered to tutor him in the concepts he is struggling with. This will be very interesting. Hopefully, it will work without destroying their relationship. If not, then, Math Lab here he comes.