Tag Archives: TracyPappas

Administrators need to do more listening: NO to federal control in grading

Competency Based Ed is similar to the failed Outcome Based Ed fad from the 90′s.
We all know that the federal agenda includes the dumbed down Common Core Standards and a return to the failed Outcome Based Ed Model of dumbed down workforce training.

Included in the Competency Based Ed model, schools have begun switching their grading to the Competency based grading system. Since we can see this happening all over New Hampshire and beyond, it’s easy to see this is coming from more federal intrusion into our local public schools. The feds want to control what your kids eat at lunch, who they share the restroom with, control academic standards and testing, and even the way schools grade their students.
Little is left for the local parents to control.

Competency-based grading caused havoc in Nashua high schools. 92% of students want to get rid of it. 83% of parents want it gone. Even 54% of teachers prefer the old grading system. There were 25% less A’s and 25% more F’s under this new grading system.

Competency-based grading is the stepping stone to the next State reform called PACE, which eliminates local control under the pretense of reducing testing and giving districts more control.

When was the last State mandate that actually gave district more control over education?

It’s important to remember that most of the competencies are “non-academic” skills. These skills are difficult if not impossible to grade objectively. For instance, if a child gets 2+2=4 correct on a test, that’s an objective grade. If that same student is graded on their attitudes towards global warming or if they can “collaborate” that is graded in a more subjective way.

This new grading system means the grades may not reflect their academic knowledge but instead subjectively assess their attitudes, beliefs, values, dispositions, etc.

It’s nice to see a letter instructing the administrators in Nashua to start listening to parents. Our hope is that at some point, they will actually take the advice they’ve been given.

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/opinion/letters/1080406-465/administrators-need-to-do-more-listening.html

Sunday, May 8, 2016
Administrators need to do more listening
Letter to the Editor
Nashua school administrators have a history of leaving parents, students and teachers out of the process when setting important initiatives.

Competency-based grading was approved because board members were told that the grading system was mandatory. It wasn’t mandatory, but the policy was implemented. There were many complaints at the high school from students, parents, and teachers. The number of students failing classes has increased by 25 percent.

The concerns of stakeholders were ignored. After dragging their feet for months, administration finally sent out a survey to parents, students and teachers. The result of the survey revealed overwhelmingly that stakeholders wanted to return to the traditional grading system. Administration is again choosing to ignore the community and to move ahead with this flawed grading system.

School administrators routinely ignore stakeholders. Five years ago, parents and students expressed concern about block scheduling, specifically the lack of continuity for foreign language, math and science courses. Administrators offered skinny classes, but then claimed no students signed up. They never offered skinny classes again. A simple option would be to hold even and odd class days. Block scheduling is maintained, but students get the continuity needed for foreign language, math and science. That solves the problem and costs nothing.

Administrators complain about the lack of parental involvement. Perhaps parents realize their opinions aren’t welcome. If administrators know best, why is Nashua South ranked 76th out of 77 in the state?

Perhaps administrators should stop talking and start listening. Our students would be better served.

Tracy Pappas

Nashua