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RE: grading and conferences

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From: Kimberly Herbert (kimberly_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 09:01:55 PST


I hate to say it but sometimes you just can't change these people. Just hold
firm and get support from other parents. Keep up a school wide campaign
about the benefits of art education, and that yes these skills can be
learned. Maybe you could show them another students work that started at the
same level has their "angel" and improved through practice.

Above all take "pity" on the little "angel" by holding him to the exact same
standards as the others no matter what the parents try to make you do. I
went through school with kids who had the misfortune of having parents like
this. Their parents would bully or buy their way out of trouble, until the
trouble got to big for them to cope with. By that time the "kids" were lost.
The few who finally turned around did so because the teachers held up
standards of work, behavior, and ethics and refused to be bullied or bought
off. Many of my classmates had more respect for their teachers, than their
parents.

Kimberly Herbert (kimberly@wcc.net)
CAM Administrator
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts/Children's Art Museum

-----Original Message-----
From: Heyjude5270@aol.com [mailto:Heyjude5270@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 10:10 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: grading and conferences

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 ?

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