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arts assessment-parents feedback


Date: Wed Feb 02 2005 - 08:52:48 PST

I have been following the assessment discussions with interest since my
district just has implemented required grading for the related arts
teachers at the elementary level. The students get E,S, or N and we can
add canned comments which were already loaded in the computers -with no
input from us. I got some very helpful feedback from the art groups
earlier this year because I was under the impression that we were
developing the grading system. Wrong. They told us what grades to use and
then gave no criteria as to how to give the grades. Consequently , the
P.E. folks decided to give across the board "S"s and the music folks are
giving lots of paper /pencil test grades. The music teacher at my school
gave many "N"s and bases some of them on students who refused to sing and
take part. A problem because the district decided to "honor" the related
arts areas by having a district wide honor roll and in the spring when
they have the district wide academic honors reception, they would
recognize students who had all "e"s for all 3 grading periods. (we didn't
start until the 2nd nine weeks)We are worried about the fall-out. After
the report cards went out, guess what were the only remarks we got from
parents? From the music and P.E. teacher and myself all thae parents asked
aboout was behavior.Why did little Wesley get an S in art? Isn't he
behaving himself? Why did little Matthew get an "S" in music-is he acting
up? Jake is a great athelete-how could he have an "S" in P.E.? Here is the
problem-Matthew and Jake both got an "S" in music and P.E. because they
are acting up (the teachers told me that) I gave Wesley an "S" because he
does try hard and he isn't "acting up" but based on the rubrics for the
projects he completed, he is doing good solid "S" work. we aren't
consistent with the grading scale so no wonder everyone is confused.So
parents are equating an "E" with good behavior? And why is an "S" so bad?
  BTW , when we began the grading system, of course there was no
explanation sent to parents on how it was based. Maybe because we don't
really know ourselves? No wonder its a confusing issue.Personally, I use
rubrics with students and have for several years. I don't think the art
teachers at the other two elementary schools have even seen a
rubric.It's all very frustrating. But, I'm copying and pasting all the
posts about this subject to a folder which I hope will be a help if
anyone ever asks our opinion and then follows up on what we say.
           Jeryl in SC