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8th Grade - - Pass or Fail


Parent6 June 5, 2008

Much has been written about standards, high-stake testing, values, remedial programs, no child left behind, etc.   Applying the information in a meaningful manner is the hard part.   I submit - If a student is not ready for high school they should not be there.  They hold the others back, and most of the time, are the ones who drop out.

Our duty, as parents, teachers, or citizens, should be to set the 8th Grade graduation standards - those that all 8th graders should have mastered.   (read and comprehend at 8.5 or higher, earned 80% or better on pre-algebra class or passed algebra, passed on a pass/fail course - life skills course to include info about taxes, insurance, housing, nutrition, and some in-depth career exploration and planning, and mastered a list of history, geography, science, etc. concepts that should be understood by 8th graders, and developed skills in research and testing)

If we know the goals, and if we have testing in place, we should be able to get them to the goals - and even past them.   The responsibility should be 50% the school, 25% the parent, and 25% the student.   

I know that most middle school/ Jr. High kids, if they realize that they will not get to go with their friends, will work their tails off to pass.   I am not saying a student who does not pass the program should always fail.  I am saying they may have to go to summer school, work in after-school remedial classes, or be assigned to alternative school until they can catch up - what ever it takes.

Most students should be able to stay on track to meet the standards.  Those who are behind in any area should be provided   an assessment and given a "IEP" involving their parents which can make the child’s progress a team effort.

Students respond to expectations.   They must have help when needed.  And if the standards are reasonable, not dumbed down, the high school experience will be more pleasant for the students and the teachers.   The students will be prepared and the HS teachers will not have to dumb the classes down and/or will be able to cover much more material, thus making the educational system more efficient.


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lisadell June 25, 2008

I know way too many students in 8th grade with my twins boys who have ALL failed this year! I think councelors and teachers have failed these kids!!!!


Cinderbell June 25, 2008

Regarding the IEP aspect for students who are behind, many students that already have an IEP are not gaining ground in "problem" areas. The IEP and programs are not worth much. The special ed "programs" in math and reading is usually lacking much content or totally an inappropriate program for what is "needed" for the individual student.

My daughter will be in 7th grade this upcomming schoo year and the district intends "focusing" only her her objectives and the scope of those don't include any type of pre-algebra or even any part of the state standards for 7th grade curriculum, which I will be, once again, fighting to change this comming year. Districts will only allow teachers to teach what they deem fit, and that usually isn't much of anything so they can pass students along grade to grade. At least, that is how it is here and very sad.

So many concepts are great in theory, but not grounded in reality.


blueshai June 25, 2008

We're all forgetting something here. WE are their parents, it is up to us to guide them, and we shouldn't expect our schools to do it for us. No teen is ready for high school. We have to be the strong arms and walk them through it day by day. Show our support, and give them the love they need. Let them know we believe in them, and they will coast through. No child goes into a new area of life unshaken. Remember kindergarten? Middle school? They weren't ready for that either, but they made it through, with our help.
We cant blame others who lag for our children's own downfall. We cant blame the school either, what we can do it observe the problem, then handle it as it needs to be handled.


Majestic June 30, 2008

When teachers teach the curriculum that they are assigned, the students learn it and then are tested at the end of the school year using testing material that was not covered all year. Such as in Georgia and many other states, its unfair to the students and faculty and parents who invested so much time. Moreso, the students who have to repeat the course or attend summer school to retake the test at cost upwards of 200.00 a subject.


Parent6 July 1, 2008

Majestic, I agree. Do you know who sets the course objectives? Is the test a valid test - actually testing the objectives? Do the objectives have rigor or are they the minimum standards. Does your teacher staff have the opportunity to add to the course objectives? If the test is well made and if the objectives are rigorous - not all students will pass. If all students pass, I would think the standards were too low and probably a waste of time for many of the students. For the students who do not pass we agree that they NEED help, from the school and from their parents to get the support so they can master the material.


DJParrish July 21, 2009

"If we know the goals, and if we have testing in place, we should be able to get them to the goals - and even past them. The responsibility should be 50% the school, 25% the parent, and 25% the student."

NO, I am a teacher, and I know that everyday, I give 100% to genuinely teach my students what they need to know to be successful on tests and in class. However, I cannot agree with you that the student and the parent should only have 25% responsibility each! One's education is one's own responsibility! I cannot make a child learn if he or she doesn't want to, isn't interested, is apathetic, etc. Also, parents should take a 100% interest in their children's educational careers. How is the school responsible for 50% when 'the school' simply cannot overcompensate for some of the issues with students today? Many students come from homes where education is NOT valued and the parents try to undermine everything a teacher does-- especially if the student finds it challenging or doesn't see the worth in it. The student should always be 100% responsible for his own education. I think everyone should take 100% responsibility. Breaking it down like that is ludicrous.


DJParrish July 21, 2009

lisadell, what have the PARENTS done to ensure their childrens' success? Have they sat down with the teachers, counselors and their children to work out an academic plan? How do they enforce homework in their home? How do they ensure that the homework is getting done and turned in? Do they believe their children when they say, "We don't have any homework?" Do they check behind them? Do you know any of this information before you throw out a generalized statement like that? Do you know what the teachers and counselors have actually done to try to help these kids? Or are you just taking the kids' words for it? I think you should know the facts of both sides before you become so judgmental.


idolaw4113 March 14, 2010

My daughter is now in the 8th grade and came home this past Friday in tears because the study skills teacher came into her laugauge arts class to talk to them about the SOL's. My daughter was stressed and very upset. I don't believe that the teacher meant for this reaction to happen. I believe that she just wanted to stress the importance of passing the SOLs. My point is this...these students are under so much stress and I'm suprised that any of them can even pass it while being under this type of stress.

My daughter does have an IEP and is an A, B honor roll student. She has perfect attendance and citizen of the month since kindergarten. I'm very involved in her education and communicate frequently with her teachers when there is an issue. Now I am to understand that my A,B honor roll, perfect attendance, citizen of the month since kindergarten child will have to go to summer school if she doesn't pass the SOL. My question is or maybe I'm not understanding how this SOL business works, but my question is...Why is she working so hard for a good report card that excels every marking period? Why is she even doing all of this obviously pointless homework that keeps her up past her bedtime? Why not just study for the SOL and call a day?

When my niece was in the 8th grade, she was earning D's, F's in every class because she didn't like the teachers, she also had perfect attendance, but didn't want to do the work. She passed her SOLs and went straight to high school without incidence. I'm confused because to me it seems that if a child is pulling A's and B's every marking period, but is for some reason unable to pass the SOL, then that student has to go to summer school or fail, but the student who gets D's and F's can pass the SOL's and will be promoted to the next grade without incidence. My niece is now in the 10th grade and is doing a lot better with everything.

If someone can please explain this to me, maybe I will reconsider keeping her in public school. But for right now, I am highly upset and I think that SOL does not stand for Standards of Learning, but for another name which means being up the creek without a paddle.


user5580457 June 5, 2014

I agree with DJParrish. Educating children is a team effort. As a person who worked as a Paraprofessional in the schools...I see teachers who give everything for their students education. However, if they behavior of the student prevents learning of other students, then what can we do? We can't spank them. We could hardly yell at them. So what can we do?

Teachers are not there to raise and babysit students. They are simply qualified to teach. If parents are not involved with the child's education along with the teacher, then the child cannot succeed. Some parents need to stop acting like "a peer" of the child and instead start acting like an actual parent. Parents have become so passive that the children run everything the parent does.


user5687757 September 6, 2014

you should check out Memorial Private High School

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