A paragraph for Ron Graff

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David Ryan

David Ryan is a boat builder and USCG licensed master captain. He is the owner of Sailing Montauk and skipper of Montauk''s charter sailing catamaran MON TIKI You can follow him on Twitter @CaptDavidRyan

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  1. Avatar A Teacher
    Ignored
    says:

    There is so much wrong with this I don’t know how to start.  In “the real world” such antics would lead to interventions and eventually dismissal hearings (which yes you can get fired in a public high school even if you have tenure).  Doing blanket grades with little to no rationale for them is the very reason that people are upset at educators and label them ineffective and lazy.

    A grade is a measure of mastery in a subject.  As a teacher it is his responsibility to know what he wants students to “master” and then as part of his grade reporting to give a judgement as to how well they managed to master those objectives.  Now that said, if his objective is “be here every day and do every assignment” then any student who masters that objective has earned an A.  They have completed 100% of the objectives at (I assume) mastery level, since showing up isn’t exactly something you can judge beyond “Did You?” and “Did you not?”

    That said, I am very supportive of moving schools away from recording grades beyond a Pass Fail and to look at transcripts from the standpoint of “did you master the majority of That Class?” and “what topics did you study?” rather than what we have now which is “is your GPA higher than some cut off score we’re using?”  However that shift cannot be effected by a single rogue teacher with a bur in his boot.

    It’s nice that he has the luxury to not care about the impact of grades.  However that’s not the world we live in.  He alone cannot change the way GPA’s are used to judge overall performance.  While a B is not that bad, it will reduce the average of any GPA that is above 3.0 to begin with.  As someone who’s had to sift through 100 applications for a single job (reason #340 I don’t volunteer anymore for hiring committees), GPA is a factor that does get used because at least it’s a number we have.  I’d ~like~ to use something more comprehensive to overall skill but it wasn’t an option for us with the data we were given.

    I simply did not know how many people with a 3.2 compared to a 3.9 had those GPA’s because they slacked off a bit (Ie got a C for every A) or becuase they had a rogue teacher who decided that a B was “good enough to keep the grovelers happy”.

    I respect why he seems like a champion, but from my desk he seems to suffer from a very myopic view of the results of his choices.

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