"I agree the grades is up to a teacher althought, I stongly agree that a
teacher should not retailate on a child if the parent wants better for
there child and not change gardes in the book for a child to fail the
"It is unfortunate that teachers have lost credibility in their grading
methods. My freshman son received his final grades today, and he worked
to the best of his abilities he "EARNED" three A's and three B's. As
parents, with access to Jupiter grades we were able to monitor his
progress. All of his teachers enjoy his contribution to class
discussions. We questioned a few grades early on in a n english class and
the teacher took a week to reply and when she did she committed to
following up.....she never did. The same teacher, when asked by my son
what he needed to do to get an A in the class let him know he needed to
score an A in final and final project. Not so, he scored an A in both and
still he "Earned" a B! You better believe we will be making calls and
sending emails .This teacher would also share her unhappiness with the
world, always ranting about her husband and how many times he had been
laid off. I'm sorry, I think she needs to leave that at the door.
"Oh waaaaaa. Poor teachers. Sure, there are parents that are aggressive
lobbyists for kids that don't deserve good grades, but I believe teachers
that grade unfairly and subjectively are far more common and cause more
damage. Instead of whining about it, maybe the good teachers should come
up with ways to make grading standards more black and white so even the
bad teachers can't screw up.
"This article is SO true and also SO sad. Parents DO overstep their bounds
and try to "demand" grade changes for their children instead of making
their child "work harder" or helping them BEFORE the grades come out. I
have taught in both public and private school and parents are the same.
The attitude is either "My taxes pay your salary" or "I pay tutition
here"!! In both cases, some parents feel it is their child's RIGHT to
make an 'A' whether or not the A has been EARNED. I am not one for
backing down. I send out progress reports weekly, send memos and emails
to parents and take in makeup assignments on Mondays. By the time grades
come out, students and parents have been fully informed about where a
child's grades stand...and STILL...I will get 3 or 4 parents who want to
"negotiate"!! Its gotten to the point where I've had a T-shirt made that
says (I do not GIVE grades...Students EARN them), and I wear this shirt
everytime report cards go out!!
I also pass out report cards at the END of the day and then I go home!!
I am not available for comment, or negotiation or discussion on report
card days...I do not take messages or answer my cell. After a few days, I
send out a notice/email reminding parents of my expectations and what they
can do to help their child EARN a better grade.
In contrast, I do NOT contact my own children's teachers about their
grades at all...unless my child has been absent and I have to clarify a
due date. Parents need to CHILL OUT!! Especially in elementary school.
IT DOESN'T EVEN COUNT UNTIL HIGHSCHOOL...REALLY???
"Wow, reading the posts of many parents here scares me from going back into
teaching. I once taught dual credit and AP English classes but quit because
I was tired of the stress of dealing with helicopter parents. Desperately, I
wanted to teach Ã¢â‚¬Å“at-riskÃ¢â‚¬Â� students so I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to deal with
parents who dropped in during my lunch hour to harass and intimidate me.
However, the only teaching positions offered to me were for dual credit and
AP courses due to having a MA +30. I usually put in 70 hours a week planning
and grading for my 200 students. While my colleagues were sleeping at 3:00
am, I was up grading essays; but, we all took home the same pay.
What I found with some of these parents is that they never hold their child
accountable. Everything is blamed on others. This is a terrible lesson to
teach our children...our future. I had a student who cheated on an in-class
essay exam. The students were given the essay prompts a week prior and the
cheating student brought in something he copied off the internet. It was
obvious the writing was not his and when I did I quick web search I found
the article he plagiarized. Later, the parents came in to scream at me for
giving their son a Ã¢â‚¬Å“0Ã¢â‚¬Â� on the test and blamed me, saying their son did
not cheat. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m writing about this event because this same boy, the
following year, died from a drug overdose. On a memorial message board, the
father gave a long sermon blaming drug dealers. It was a very sad event and
I will never forget that boy. However, I cannot help but think that if more
is done to teach our children and hold them accountable for their actions
they will rise to th!
e occasion and become mature adults who make good choices.
"Writing as a parent who had two special needs children, I was always
pleased at the efforts made by teachers and administrators to work as
collaboratively as possible to educate our children. The success of those
efforts varied according to each teacher's own capabilities, resource
constraints, and our own success at contributing positively.
One thing we always tried to do was separate out our children's unique
educational needs from their responsibility learning. As long as we felt
that the express or implied contracts we had--teacher, student,
parent--were mutually agreed upon, all were responsible for keeping up
their part of the deal, with consequences that were understood by all.
This process has continued to work--not perfectly, but reasonably
well--because we communicate regularly with teachers and other school
staff and they communicate with us. When I talk to other parents--and,
frankly, when I read many of the comments to this blog--who blame teachers
or schools for their children's learning deficiencies or unfair grades--I
sense that whether their negative assessments are accurate or not, quality
communication wasn't there to signal issues might be arising.
It's easy for parents to blame individual teachers or entire school
systems for their children's grades It's also easy for teachers to become
cynical when parents seem more concerns about grades than learning. It
will become even easier if we don't try to walk a mile in each other's
moccasins now and then. And that doesn't help our kids in the long run.
"Yep, some K-12 teachers assign grades without using a formula. A friend that
taught AP Biology once said she "glanced over their grades" and assigned
what it Ã¢â‚¬Å“felt likeÃ¢â‚¬Â� they had earned. No formula, no weighting, no math.
The superintendent in Redding is correct: There needs to be consistency in
grading and the students need to understand what is included and how grades
are derived. And the students need to ask...we need to teach our kids to be
responsible for their education.
I get students in my university classes that cannot calculate their grades,
even when it is as simple as 80% for the final and 20% for the paper. These
students receive a D on the final and a B on the paper, and expect a C in
the class. They whine and talk about what they earned. They misrepresent
their grades to their parents, who threaten to sue. (They are the reason
that I, and most teachers, now carry professional liability insurance.) They
cry that the one grade will keep them out of med school, which is unfair
since they are A students.
But there is something that most of us teachers know: Students that ignore
problems and wait until final grades are posted weren't A or B students. The
real Ã¢â‚¬Å“AÃ¢â‚¬Â� student will go to the teacher/professor at the first sign of
trouble. They will approach the problem in a proactive manner and will take
steps to improve. They will not blame the teacher initially, but first try
to find a solution. And, when that fails, they calmly go to a supervisor and
ask for assistance. They do not demand, shriek, cry or yell. (And from my
experience, Ã¢â‚¬Å“AÃ¢â‚¬Â� students are more successful at getting their problem
Yes, there are both bad teachers and bad parents out there. That's why
parents need to teach kids *now* to go talk to the teachers, find out what
is included in their grades, how the grades are derived, and what to do if
they are having problems. And if the teacher can't tell them that info, then
you meet with the teacher and confirm that there is no formula. That will
give you far more to work with than just saying that the teacher is unfair.
"This term my 11 year old son will receive a C in Social Studies. He has
earned perfect scores on every assignment, quiz, and test. His grade has
be reduced to a C because the teacher does not like the way he takes notes
and organizes his notebook.
"The problem for parents is that, in the constructivist world of modern
education, the grading rubric is largely subjective. In addition to
"summative" assessment (tests), modern teachers include "formative"
assessments, which include things like class participation and group work,
and use "authentic" assessment tools, which are meant to be real-life
activities. They essentially can assign any grade they like for these
types of assessments and average it in with test scores, homework, etc.
The whole system is so subjective that parents have no trust in it
"Our child is at a magnet school for our town that runs an IB program. One
teacher seems out to destroy the kids GPA. Most kids get a C grade, even
as they get SAT scores in the 700 or higher scores. He's an English
teacher. To many colleges, a C grade and 750 SAT is a sign of a lazy
student. In this case, it's just a bad teacher. The administration knows
of this problem, but can't get around the union to fix the problem.
"I haven't talked to my child's teacher about any grades but after reading
this article perhaps I should (?)
Are parents who don't "speak up" doing a disservice to our kid's chances
of getting into a top tier college by not fighting to get the highest GPA
possible whether or not it was "earned" if teachers are willing to grant
higher grades to the proverbial "squeaky wheels" against whom our children
will be competing for precious few slots?
"I believe that it is important to remember that not all teachers are fair
and teachers make mistakes like anyone else. It is important for parents
to stick up for their child if they think they may have been treated
unfairly. For example, one of my children did a project and the teacher
graded it completely subjectively. It was a social studies project and the
teacher graded it apparently on artistic ability in middle school (cutting
and pasting not neat enough etc) and had no grading rubric. It was not
graded on academic ability or knowledge and the students had no idea what
the criteria would be due to no rubric.
"A well respected colleague at my site is currently being stalked by a set
of (clique) of parents who want to challenge her grades. Ironically her
grades are the highest on the respective reports, and honestly she has
erred on the generous side. All 3 students should be getting lower grades
according to her very rigerous assessment system. I have been disgusted by
some of the vicious series of emails that have been directed towards her.
Grades are federally protected, and don't leave it until senior year and
May before you want to check assessment.
"Honestly, what scares me more than anything are the grammatical and
spelling errors from posts here from TEACHERS who are grading children.
"Its not just the school system. It spills over into anything related to
kids. I am an healthcare professional and parents are warned pre-warned
post-warn during warn etc. Extensive amounts of explanations with
demonstrations and to the extent of drawings and asking if they
understand. I will say most are appreciative but the high demand of
taking care of a household, different parenting skills between two adults
( marriage, couples, or God forbid parents who are separated and don't get
along already) all of this affects anyone working with kids!!!!!!
I am a single parent and I love my kids school. They attend a school
where they are the minority but the PRINCIPAL AND EVERYONE under her
approach these kids with fairness and deep concern. I know my kids and I
will not right them when they are WRONG!!!!!
We are living in an age where traditional families are NON-TRADITIONAL!
It is expected behaviors of kids that I work with 90% behavior is affected
by the PARENT! A child to transition from a broken home is devastating
and will take great tolls on kids grades, behavior, attitude...etc!
Thank GOD I am in a situation to be here for my kids. Most parents spend
extensive hours just to make ends meet. Its so many variables and this
little people are affected TREMENDOUS by decisions we as parents make!
"Hopefully these teachers are not changing grades because of the parents
,that would be unfair to the rest if us who don't complain !
"Amen! We have a hotline for Students being Bullied...When are we going to
do something about Parents Bullying Teachers?
"Stick to your guns... N-E-V-E-R negotiate after final grades are posted.
Parents who do this are actually harming their children, as the child has
no clue how much work yields an "A". The child moves to the next grade,
usually my class, and it is like hitting a wall. The can't figure out what
they need to do to EARN an "A". It usually takes 9+ weeks to straighten
them out. Sometimes, they just fail my class... Yes, I said FAIL. No
work=Fail, Shoddy work = D, average effort= C...
Minimal effort = Minimal grade.
It is because of these parents who challenge, cajole, beg, insistent, that
concrete micromanaged documentation is necessary. Down here, I have
allowed students to EARN many a minimal grade...but usually they figure it
When I meet with parents (I am a documentation junkie) the argument is
squelched immediately. They are left speechless, usually apologize for
taking my time, and leave.
"Students earn grades and that is all there is to it. To get the outcome
you would like, you need to put in the effort required to achieve the
result. Teachers set out the grading policies at the start of the term
and clearly spell out how much homework assignments, projects, papers,
presentations, class participation, and exams count toward the final
grade. Miss a pop quiz, then you get a zero. I also recall a grading
policy in my high school whereby 3% was deducted from the paper's grade
for each class period the term paper was late. If it was going to be
late, then it better be phenomenal because 4 class periods late meant at
best an 88%. That was the policy, end of story! Apparently, some schools
still hold to this. i know a grade grubbing parent who grumbled to a
physician colleague of mine about such a policy that took her child's term
paper grade down to a D+. My colleague responded that there are no do
overs in medicine given that patient death is rather fina!
"My complaint with a few teachers (particularily in high school when grades
really count)is that they rely on a formulaic grading system without any
subjective analysis. Example, after studying and getting a 98% on a final
exam, my son will get an final grade of 89.7% (which is a B+ or a 3.0) due
to a poor "group project grade" of a C or B-, which is the reason for the
.3% difference between an A- or a 4.0. Where is the logic in that? Unless
a parent complains, the student is stuck with a 3.0. I know that the
teachers think that I'm "helicoptering", but when they don't even "reply"
to my emails or calls until I copy the school counselor or prinicipal, I
find the teacher's unprofessionalism very troubling.
"As school and schooling play such an important role in our life. Why
wouldn't you believe it would become something to fight about. As schooling
become more about grades and test score. Then just like my child has to
work hard for each grade or score. I will fight that he/she gets the best
grade possible for the work they did. If that an A- and not a B+. It the
student job to work hard and the parent right to fight for them (student)."
"what do you do when a teacher so as to prove her authority looses a childs
hw assignments,(the child is religiously doing his/her part) does not
inform the parents,they find out when the progress report is posted.
should such teachers be in this field ? should our kids be trusted in
their hands and of course the principal is on their side so you can keep
fighting a lost battle and watch your child get more and more frustated
with the system .
what is a parent to do?"
"When I was growing up, grades were both a reflection on what the child was
capable of learning and the effectiveness of how the teacher was teaching.
Each class is different. We were were given no bell curves - county wide.
We were told what portion of our work accounted for what portion of our
grade. AND, if the class as a whole did poorly on a test, the teacher
re-taught the material in a different manner. However, in no case did the
bell curve bring up the entire class's grade to make the lowest grade an
A. Your only recourse was to study hard and do well on the next - extra
test on the material. BTW...this is one of the best school districts in
the country. No confusion on why! I was shocked when I went to college
to find out how wimpy the grading was. Grades are what you earn and a
measure of what you learn. Period.
"What about the other side? I repeatedly have to talk to our child's
teacher about poor work that gets an A or 100%. I constantly find work
that my sons have turned in with terrible punctuation, numerous spelling
errors, wrong answers in math, yet the teacher gives my sons A's and
A lot of this work is done at school where I have no way to review it. I
always check homework done here, and have to battle my kids to spell
things properly, capitalize properly, start/end sentences correctly, use
paragraphs, use a dictionary, use a calculator, etc. It's really
frustrating and I think detrimental in the long and short run because my
kids are not being called on poor work.
They are in seventh and eighth grade and I cringe at what they will find
out in high school. I also don't like the way the teacher gives them at
least two chances on tests to make corrections before grading. They will
not get second chances on standardized tests! I feel once something is
handed in, the grade should reflect that effort. How are they going to
learn to correct and self-edit before handing stuff in in high school or
"I recently had a situation where the teacher actually entered the wrong
scores from my child's ITBS scores. Of course we had a meeting and she
realized she had entered half of the classes scores incorrectly. She felt
horrible and the situation was corrected. Mistakes happen, as a parent
you really have to be involved."
"Excellent article, I agree that parents have the power to help improve
grades by following up on homework, communicating with the child daily
about class goings-on, including upcoming tests/quizes, and having
tempered conversations with the teachers, all for the benefit of the
"This is a terrible issue but on the other spectrum, I have a fourth header
that is being pushed through school with great grades and I see her
struggling to read at second grade level. After 3 years of fighting with
the schools I paid privately to have her tested at 2 different facilities
to find out she has a auditory processing disorder and dyslexia. The
schools told me they can't help her and now I must provide private therapy
to correct her reading. This has been frustrating and expensive. I don't
understand how she gets the grades she gets but an reminded by the school
that because she has no behaviour problems they see no reason to test her.
Help! We do the schools do this?"
"My son has been an honors student at LAUSD for 9 years, this year the
school failed to give any of his accomadation for 6 months. After letter
writting, meetime*, I got tired of fooling around and filed a Civil Rights
Complaint. That go everyone's attention! Quick! One teacher still refused,
forgot he failed to teach 2 chapters and thumbed his nose up at the
system. He took early retirement and the found 3 years of IEP's tossed in
a drawer. He gave my son a C. Do I just sit back and say ok- or do I
appeal? I appeal and what a joke it is. They knew due to his sickness he
should no be teaching, yet since he was past president of the teachers
union- everyone is scared of him, I am on my last appeal- then I am Filing
a civil rights suite against LAUSD- one of the most screwed up school
system in the country. To big to know what the other hand is doind."
"As an elementary music teacher, I grade mostly (3/4) on participation. I
would rather not give grades at all because this is too subjective in my
opinion. So I tend to give higher grades than the children deserve. Even
if they are not putting out more than minimal effort, I will give them a B
if they aren't disrupting the class. And yet, I have had two parents (one
a principal!) bully and threaten me over a B. The principal actually made
a veiled threat to take me to court over the B!! In both cases, my own
principal (two different ones) strongly suggested that I just change the
grade. In both cases, the grade was probably better than the child
deserved. In both cases, I reluctantly changed the grade The worst thing
about it was the message that was sent to the student...you don't have to
do the work because Mama will bully the teacher into just giving you the A
you don't deserve. Pathetic!"
"The teacher is telling a story where the first paragraph reveals her
mistake. She goes to trouble in proving to the parent that the student is
turning in mediocre work while hoping he would leave. A good teacher would
immediately schedule a meeting with the parents and make a plan with them
to help the student improve their effort. This teacher SHOULD find another
"My husband who is a teacher has had this experience but the administrator
did NOT back him up! What did that mom think she was teaching her kids,
yes there were 2 of them in separate years!"
"I am a high school social studies teacher in a midwestern school. I have
found that there is a relationship between a students ACT score and there
grade point average in my class. I have found that many students who earn
a C, also get around a 16 on the ACT. Many of the parents of these
students insist that their child should be given an A or B. However, when
this occurs in other classes colleges call our school and question why a
student who has a 3.5+ g.p.a. only got a 16 or below on the ACT. It makes
you wonder doesn't it?"