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grading and conferences

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Heyjude5270_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 08:09:58 PST


Thanks to all of you who responded to my plea regarding parent conferences.
I decided meeting with hostile parents in an art room that is physically
separated from the main school building was not something I was comfortable
with. Conferences were held in the school office with the assistant
principal in attendance. I took not only their own children's work I had
graded, but examples of work I considered A, B and C work also. I came armed
with copies of National Standards as well as district standards. I typed up
summaries of each child's grades for each project and their final grade. I
had copies of all correspondence sent home and my rubrics for each project. I
still was attacked because one of the criteria in my rubrics includes what I
termed as "artistic merit" , even though this accounted for only up to 20
points out of a possible 80.How does one answer a parent whose only interest
is in the fact that I have kept their child off honor roll and uses the
argument that it is not appropriate to grade on "talent". (It was explained
to them that if work ethic and behavior improved, so would that portion of
their grade.) When shown their children's work, I got statements like, "Well,
that's Johnny. That's as good as he can do." " Well, for Johnny, this is very
good." For the vast majority of these students, their attitude was that art
class was recess and they chose to goof off. These parents simply do not
believe that their children could be anything but angelic and produce
exemplary work, regardless of the subject. How do you respond ?