The A-F Grading Scale Myth; Coming to a School Near You

I know I got upset about Bug’s falling grades a couple of weeks ago. Ok, I got downright pissed. And yes, I still feel like I’m failing him in some ways but there’s another point of anger and this time, it’s not all pointing at the kids.

You see, I spoke with Bug’s teacher; the one whose class he was still failing as of grade card time. We tossed out some ideas on what could be done and how we could all help him stay on task to bring up his grade. That’s when I find out that Bug won’t actually receive an F for this class. When report cards were sent home, Bug would have an “I”, as in INCOMPLETE.

It’s not incomplete. It’s an F. He failed because he did not do the work. Work that he had over 5 weeks to work on in class between 2 classes (it counted as grades in 2 subjects). So you tell me; How. Is. That. Incomplete?

I’ll tell you, it’s not. He chose not to do it. Bug so much as told me so. It’s a class that he likes but requires a lot of writing and he doesn’t like to write. This is not a news flash for any of us.

What gets me about the whole thing is that the teachers are giving so many chances to get things right. That sounds wonderful on the surface but it doesn’t give them any opportunity to take responsibility.

Try, Try Again.

Bug’s not the only one this is happening to. Bebe is an Honor Roll student. She’s great about rubbing it in her brother’s faces every chance she gets. I’ve been letting her get away with some of the rubbing because if it motivates her brothers to work harder then I’m all for it.

What ever happened to getting the grade you earn? Photo by BlueMiniu

What ever happened to getting the grade you earn? Photo by BlueMiniu

Bebe is in the fourth grade. She’s smart. I know she is. She’s so smart that I am just now catching up to her little white lies about homework being done. There have been times where she’s forgotten an assignment at school and I know about those so I mark them in her progress book about not having the book/assignment to do. However, I was not aware that there were some she was just not writing down or not telling me about.

Not having this work done lands her in… THE RECOVERY ROOM. No, she’s not had surgery. It’s just an extra chance for kids who didn’t complete their homework to get it done… another second chance.

Do you know what this means? It means that my sweet baby girl may NOT be an Honor Roll student after all. But we’ll never know that because the school doesn’t want to give zeros to elementary school kids.

So tell me, when do they learn to fail? When do our kids learn to take responsibility for what they do, or don’t do?

Now I am not perfect by any means and so I’ve learned quite a few things the hard way. While I’d like to spare my kids every chance at failure that I can, I also know that it’s a part of growing up that they have to experience. I can do my best to protect them but at some point they must become responsible for themselves.

You might think that I’m being a little overly concerned about Bebe spending her time in the recovery room. I might agree with you if it wasn’t nearly 2 dozen days last grading period that she was given a second chance. Another thing about the recovery room is why not call the parents as soon as the kid spends more than a day or two in there? My math could be wrong but in order for her to spend that much time in this room, she has to visit it at least 2-3 times every week. Right?

As for Bug’s teacher, I applaud his effort to let me know my son is failing but I give him the raspberries when he waited until the last week of the grading period to notify me. That’s like waiting until your car is out of state to tell you it was stolen (especially if you watched it get stolen). I was aware of the boy’s trouble in school and for 3 weeks prior to the teacher emailing me, I was already working on helping him get back on task.

Because you know… that’s what a parent does. We see a problem and try to tackle it the best we can. If that means kids fail, then they fail.

I think that at 14 and 10 years old, both of my kids are able to understand the consequences of not doing their school work.

I won’t even go into the numerous second chances the school gives the kids and how it undermines my ability as a parent to teach them responsibility or know for certain if my kids are deserving of the rewards I give them for a job well done.

We’ll save that talk for another day.

About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 765 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.

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