The report cards

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The report cards

Post by thebigscott on Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:19 pm

Zaven and Caly got their report cards a in the mail a few weeks ago. By the time we got them, Zaven had already left for Upward Bound and Caly had already arranged to go visit family in Alabama. Zaven's grades were a little lower than we expected, but still good. He got a 3.1 average instead of the 3.5 we'd thought he'd get. Caly's grades were AWFUL. She failed one class, but we'd known that she was failing it. It was an advanced class (9th grade material while she was in 8th grade) and the teacher had gone on maternity leave during the school year so they had a 3 month substitute. Caly did great under the sub, but when the regular teacher came back she tanked. She even hired the sub as a tutor and still tanked. Come to find out that the grades from when the sub was there hadn't been entered correctly in the computer... and the regular teacher refused to fix it. Several zeros and a bad attitude teacher equals an F apparently. BUT, on top of that grade there were several other bad grades.

I let Caly go on her trip and we decided to ground her when she got back. Part of the punishment was to research how to get good grades and write an essay descriping what changes she would make next year so this wouldn't happen again. So the first thing she did was to write e-mails to her teachers saying that she wanted to improve next year and even though she wasn't going to be in their class she still wanted their advise about what she did wrong.

One of her teachers e-mailed back. She said that she just checked Caly's grade online and it was WRONG. The computer shows a D-. Caly got a B. So we started looking at her grades and realized that for a different class, there's not even a grade listed for the 4th quarter. It's just blank.

So now I'm wondering what the heck her grades really were and if Zaven also got different grades. It doesn't much matter about Caly since she was only in 8th grade, but Zaven is applying for colleges now. And he got a B- in art. Well he's never had even as low as a B+ in art. He usually has 100% in there. And he told me that he asked his art teacher for his grade the day before the last day of school and she said he had an A. Change that grade to an A and his 3.1 would be a 3.4.

I'm ticked. Most of the teachers didn't reply to Caly since it's summer vacation and they're gone. Zaven is gone for the next month and a half so he can't even call the school to confirm his grades. I'll do it if I need to, but I think that it'll come off differently if it's Mommy calling to see why her baby didn't get an A. And how many mistakes have there been over the years? My kids never keep track of their grades and I used to fuss at them about it until I realized that most of their teachers don't actually ever hand anything back to them. How are they supposed to know how their doing if they can't get any info from the teachers about it and the computers are spitting out the wrong scores?
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Re: The report cards

Post by edbson on Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:29 pm

I never ever see grades, unless it is on a progress report, or report card. There is a thing you can look at online daily, but my computer hates their site.

Bayley did great in most of her classes, except Math. It is also an advanced (AP) class, and the teacher is as old as dirt, and frankly, shouldn't be teaching. She ONLY teaches what is on the TAKS test, unlike the other teachers. She is a bitch, and her son is the principle, so complaints go unheard.
I ended up filing an OCR complaint, because she refused to follow Bnut's 504 plan( using an FM device, and allowing her to go to a quiet room to work), and miraculously she got an 85 on her report card.....after I was told she would have summer school.

Next year she is also in AP classes, and her Math is IPC, Integrated Physics and Chemistry...I am NOT looking forward to it.

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Re: The report cards

Post by thebigscott on Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:33 pm

We have 'infinite campus' that is supposed to let parents check grades online. My problem is that most of the teachers don't enter their grades into the system until right before the report cards are due. So you could go all of December and check the grades every day and it would show the same three homework assignments... then the day before report cards come out, 8 other assignments and the test grade would show up. As if that's of any help.

I'm just floored that Caly's GPA might be off as much as from a 1.5 (what it says on her report card) to a 2.8 (what she'd have with the corrected science grade and an additional A+ for chorus instead of a blank grade). They actually divided the points by 5 classes, even though she only got grades for 4 classes. And I swear, I think she was supposed to get grades for 6 classes. There's not even a place for her Chinese class grade to show up on this report card. No grade, and no place to put a grade. WTF is wrong with THIS picture?
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Re: The report cards

Post by tara on Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:52 pm

That's f***ed up Karen. I have say the threads this week have made me feel very lucky my kids are in a great school district and in a state that cares enough to require an education. I hope you get it straightened out.

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Re: The report cards

Post by edbson on Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:06 pm

It's the same here, they load the grades whn they feel like it, certainly not daily like they stated they would.

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Re: The report cards

Post by thebigscott on Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:51 pm

OK. I'm not sure how they count it when the kids get a B+ rather than a B, but I WAS able to get Caly's grades. She has an A+ for chorus and a B for Chinese that simply DON'T show up on her report card, even on the online report card. But if I go into her class schedule, the grades are there for those classes including a final grade for the 9 weeks. She has two Bs, two A+s, a C+, and an F. The F is for an advanced class, so it's supposed to be weighted differently. If she had a B, they would count it as an A. I don't know what they do if it's not a passing grade, though.

Anyhow, here's what her report card says for her 9 weeks grades:

blank spot where a grade should be
A+
C+
blank spot where a grade should be
F
= GPA of 1.5

Here's what I get when I add it up:

B
A+
A+
C+
B
F
= GPA of 2.7 (or 2.8 if you count the +s)

So basically, the report card is not even close to her actual grades.
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Re: The report cards

Post by thebigscott on Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:55 pm

And there's more.

I looked up Zaven's grades online since I couldn't find his report card. I don't know if the grades they gave him were correct or not, but I did realize that his AP class wasn't given any extra weight. They're supposed to give it extra weight in the GPA, but they counted it just like it was a regular class. That matters both in getting into a good college and in getting money for college.

Then I called Caly. She was over at a friend's house because I wanted to loosen up on the grounding until I found out what her actual grades were. I had her ask her friend if she got a grade for Chinese. Yes, on the computer. But not on her report card. So it's not just one kid who's getting screwed. The whole thing is fucked up.

I am getting more and more annoyed. And it's a freaking Friday so there's nothing I can do about any of it for days. AND I don't have any way to know if the grades for previous years were accurate.

No wonder my kids suck at math. The people in charge of teaching it don't know how to do it themselves.
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Re: The report cards

Post by chelle on Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:47 pm

Ohhh Karen- I'd be on the phone- cause mommy can throw a wall eyed fit and Zaven cant. and this mommy would be pitching a full fledged BITCH FIT!

MY kids schools had that grade system where we should be able to see it. Well, theynever put in the grades, BUT did put in the assignments and their Due dates, so when the teacher didnt input the grade, I got an email, DAILY- by the 5thweek, my kids would have as many as 60 'missing' assignments.

So I'd write or call the teachers at least twice a week- and they would SWEAR that the work was there, they were just too busy- THEN, when report cards came out- they would be missing assignments, and the teachers would put a snide note or comment on the actual report card...

.
PLUS, our teachers get graded on what our kids make- so they dont input grades they kids get, they cherry pick them. To make their own average look good.

One of BRetts classes (social studies) they had constant homework, constant graded papers, and by the end of the 6 weeks, there would be 3 or 4 to use for an average. Brett said 90% of the class just played and wouldnt learn anything, so they failed all the papers.

BUT, let my kid be absent ONE day and that teacher would be writing me notes the next day that he HAD to have his assignment in quickly.

come to find out, he was one of the only ones who made strait 90's and 100's and he kept the class average up. I actually heard this from a teacher. not that teacher- but another one, and his counceler.

I would like to think that after he was pulled out, those teachers had to start teaching the other kids.. But thats just my ego talking. LOL


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Re: The report cards

Post by thebigscott on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:06 am

At this point I am planning on getting a sitter and going in to their offices and raising some hell. I've got her report card here in front of me and not ONE of the 9 week's GPAs is correct.

First Quarter:
.....Their GPA accounting: 3.0
.....My GPA accounting: 3.16

Second Quarter:
.....Their GPA accounting: 2.333
.....My GPA accounting: 3.333

Third Quarter:
.....Their GPA accounting: 1.0
.....My GPA accounting: 2.16

There are two other grades that aren't on the report card. And it seems like any time there's a missing grade, their computer counts it as a failing grade. It also seems like the computer isn't set up to give them extra credit for taking advanced classes, something which was promised to them.

Zaven's are also wonky, but not as far off... at least as far as I can tell. He ISN"T getting extra weight for the AP class (again it was promised).

But to me, the main thing is that there's just no way to know if these are accurate at all. When I was a kid, you got papers back, took them home, showed them to your parents, and your mom or dad would look over the grades to see what was going on in school. Sometimes the grade was a mistake. Your teacher counted something wrong when it was actually right. Or maybe the other way around. But you could see HOW you got the grade you got and you could argue it if the grade was wrong. And you could write down all your grades and keep track of what your average was. The grade on your report card was not a shock because you'd seen all the tests and homework grades and you knew what your average was.

Zaven and Caly get nothing. The papers are sometimes brought home, but most of the ones that are handed back are just checkmarks, not actual grades. I have no way to prove that Caly got a C or an A or an F. And I cetainly can't prove that when she put B down as the answer to number 7, she should have been given credit for that. I was taking it on faith that the system was fair, but it's clear that it isn't. It's shit, is what it is.

So, Monday I'm raising hell. I have never been tempted to homeschool, but I am now just to actually get an idea of what my kids know and what they don't.

And I'm un-grounding Caly indefinitely. She got in trouble with me a lot this year for having sucky grades. And now I see that her grades were actually good for the first half of the year. She only had two classes (English and Algebra) that had seriously bad grades. While I know she can do better in those classes, I also know that the Algebra grade was not entirely her fault. She had a difficult teacher who had a difficult pregnancy and by the reports of a lot of kids and parents, the teacher took her emotions out on the class. I think under a different teacher Caly would have done well.

But even more concerning is the fact that I will have to figure out all of Zaven's grades and make sure his transcript is correct for the past three years. He's going into his senior year. In Kentucky, the state pays kids for getting good grades. It's a mini college scholarship called KEYS money and it's based on each semester's GPA as reported by the school. So he's probably already lost money for college. Then there's scholarship money and even just getting into a good school. The whole thing is a mess.

Oh, and in case you were wondering why I didn't even notice that some grades were missing, I did notice that there were blanks, but the way the reports are layed out, it's hard to know what belongs where. The grades are in a list:

Rotation (teacher name) term grade X
Rotation (teacher name ) term grade ...................X
Rotation (teacher name) term grade ....... X
Rotation (teacher name) term grade X.....X.......X
Social studies (teacher name) term grade X...........................X
Social studies (teacher name) semester grade.........................X
English (teacher name) term grade X.......X........X........X
English (teacher name) semester grade.........X....................X
Science (teacher name) term grade X.........X.........X
Science (teacher name) semester grade ...........................X
Algebra (teacher name) term grade X.........X..........X............X
Algebra (teacher name) semester exam.................................X
Algebra (teacher name) semester grade..................................X

So some of the teachers put in mid-term and final exam grades, some don't. Some put in a 9 weeks grade every 9 weeks, some just put in the first and third 9 weeks grades and then use the semester grade for the 2nd and 4th nine weeks. And it's all stacked in a column so that it's hard to see which grades are 9 weeks grades and which are test grades and which are semester averages. And there's NO yearly average on it anywhere. The only easy thing on it anywhere is that there's a GPA up on the top that lists each 9 week's GPA. And those are wrong!!!

So I'm going to fight this thing all the way to the superintendant and the school board if I have to. That's probably what it will take to get it fixed. And I'll be lucky to get this set of grades fixed. I seriously doubt they'll be willing to go back and check previous years and to make sure to change them and then notify the KEYS people so that Zaven gets all the scholarship money he deserves.


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Re: The report cards

Post by agaphmou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:10 am

I'm so proud of my 14 almost 15 yr old niece.She was a freshman,now sophomore at my alma mater,one of the 3 best high schools in the US! Today I asked her how her report card was. She has straight A's. She took after her aunt lol. I still have to find out about my nephew/godson and the little niece.
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Re: The report cards

Post by chelle on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:44 am

damnit Karen- thats pathetic. I'm sorry your having to deal with all this shit. Summer is the time to NOT worry about school- whats really bad is what are they teaching the kids? is it okay for the boss to short your paycheck? the govt to take more in taxes (okay, bad example)- or if your the big dog can you screw someone around cause your lazy?

and yeah- I DESPISE 'check marks' to just keep a kid freakin busy- I HATE it., for one, TELL me when I'm wrong- for two, did theylearn it? or not? a check mark doesnt teach anything, other than 'I scribbled on it and she thought I worked all day'

But, i'm big on KNOWING what I'm doing wrong- or right, or whatever-

Good luck girl- you'll need it..

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Re: The report cards

Post by chelle on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:47 am

Thats wonderful Athena!!

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Re: The report cards

Post by agaphmou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:48 am

Oh wow Karen ,I just read what you wrote.I don't know what's wrong with teachers nowadays.Fight for what should be done! Good luck!
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Re: The report cards

Post by agaphmou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:49 am

Thank you Chelle Smile
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Re: The report cards

Post by Lori on Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:19 am

Karen, rant away at the idiots, but wait until Tuesday. Monday is being treated like a holiday.

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Re: The report cards

Post by thebigscott on Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:32 am

agaphmou wrote:I'm so proud of my 14 almost 15 yr old niece.She was a freshman,now sophomore at my alma mater,one of the 3 best high schools in the US! Today I asked her how her report card was. She has straight A's. She took after her aunt lol. I still have to find out about my nephew/godson and the little niece.

Athena, that's wonderful! You must be so proud! I'd be beside myself. And it's great that you know she's getting a top quality education. It makes such a difference.

Don't worry about skipping my long rant. I wish I could skip it!


Lori, thanks for the advice. You're right. I'm better off waiting until Tuesday.
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Re: The report cards

Post by agaphmou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:42 am

Thank you Karen! Yes I'm very proud!
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Re: The report cards

Post by Rebecca1340 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:58 pm

That's great Athena!
Devon and Sam did great on their report cards. Devon got all A's and B's and the teacher Sam had for most of the second half of the year wrote a glowing report for him. We can't see their grades online, but the teachers regularly send home their marked assignments with comments on them so I haven't had any big shocks just yet.
Karen, if I were you I think I'd pitch a tent in the board office's front entryway waiting for them to open their doors on Tuesday AM. That's just horrible! I can't get over that the teachers are getting away with entering incorrect grades or none at all -- it's even worse that Zaven is getting ready for college now. Disgusting!

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Re: The report cards

Post by thebigscott on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:54 pm

Well, I had to go out of town a lot this week. Scott's doing some home repairs and it's not safe for the kids to be around it. So I decided to start by trying to call the school Tuesday morning. I called the main office (it's the same for the middle and high school offices) and started by saying who I was, who my kids were, and that I'd found problems on their report cards. The lady who answered stopped me right there and told me that I'd need to start by speaking to the guidance counselors. The HS counselor was out of town for a week and will be back Monday. The MS counselor may not be in his office but she'd connect me and I could leave a message if he wasn't there.

Well, I know both these guys. The MS counselor is a wonderful man, knows every kid in the school by name and is respectful to all of them (including the kids who ditch all the time, are bullies, or are in trouble), knows Caly very well as she was president of a club he co-sponsors, and also knows us because we've come in to see him about several small things in the past. I know that he'll take my concerns seriously and do his best to help.

So I called his office and left a message and he called me back later in the day. He said he'd already noticed that Caly had failed Algebra and had mentioned it to the HS counselor and told him it must have been a mistake because Caly was an A and B student. He told me not to worry about the GPA since the only person that would ever see it or care about it was us. He said he'd check on her grades and make sure that the averages were correct. But he said that missing grades were harder to dispute. AND he said that of the kids who took the algebra class (which they have to have a recommendation to get to take since it's a HS class), a full third FAILED. He said that typically the lowest those kids would make would be a high C, so he was aware that something was wrong but wasn't sure what the school would do about it.

I told him I was actually less worried about that grade than about the missing grades. The school policy is that the kids can't get HS credit for taking the class in the 8th grade unless they get an A or a B. Well, that's a stupid policy since the 9th graders who take it get HS credit if they get a D-, but that's the rule. I told him that I was not honestly sure if Caly would have gotten a B because she had trouble with the teacher. BUT, she did take tutoring and the tutor said she was doing OK. I asked him to look into it for me and he said he would.

So if the problem is missing grades, I don't know how to dispute it or even if I should since if she'd gotten a C+, she'd be in the exact same postition she is now... taking it again as a freshman. I'm concerned that getting into a big fight about it will just alienate the teachers that she'll have next year. The MS and HS are in the same building and the teachers talk. But I want her to get a FAIR grade, not just whatever grade the computer spits out.

Meanwhile, there's Zaven's grades to deal with. The HS counselor is a different story from the MS counselor. I went to college with him and he is a nice person, but (and I hate to say this) he's not all that great at his job. People think he is. They talk about how lucky the school is to have him and how great he was as a teacher and how wonderful he is as a counselor. Well he WAS great as a teacher. But he's only so-so as a counselor. He knows certain parts of the job and does them well. But in other areas he really doesn't do that hot of a job. As an example, most of the college bound kids who will be seniors this year (including Zaven) have just realized that they SHOULD have taken 3 years of a language to get into a good college. The counselor led most parents to believe that all the kids were taking the recommended classes for college. But they weren't. They took classes that weren't available when I was a kid, but they didn't take a foreign language. I hadn't worried, thinking that maybe it was out of fashion. The recommended classes change periodically. But it turns out that they DID need those classes. So now they're all trying to take a language at the local college to make up for the classes they should have taken through the HS.

I had gone in at the beginning of Zaven's Junior year to make sure he was taking everything he needed and was on track, and that we were doing everything we needed to do at home. He SHOULD have looked that up since I made a special appointment to go over it all with him. He didn't. And now Zaven is at a slight disadvantage.

But my point is, this is the guy who I will have to convince to go back over Zaven's old report cards and make sure that everything is correct. I am not all that hopeful that he's even competent to do the job. But I'm going to be more assertive about Zaven's grades than I am about Caly's. 8th grade scores don't mean shit to a college. It's not worth getting everyone pissed off at our family about. But Zaven's grades are for his Junior year and colleges and scholarship boards are going to be paying attention. I'll do what I have to do to make sure he gets every credit he deserves.

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Re: The report cards

Post by briteasafirefly on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:52 pm

There has been one thing I have learned while at school...
if its something important, never trust that the person who should know will know the information you need.
I can't tell you how many times I had to do the research and all the work to make sure that my grades from a JC transferred to the state school. I did all the running around for stuff that wasn't my responsiblity and actually said screw their process and went straight to the person who was in charge of signing my petitions.
thank god when it came time to get stuff in for graduation, I had connections since at the time I was a Admissions Assistant...so I got taken care of right away.

Its really come to the point where you have to be active in researching your info because administration doesn't always have the current information. And sometimes counselors just don't know their info. Plus a college is just going to say sorry, but this is what we require and its unfortunate that you were given the wrong information by your high school counselor, but there is nothing we can do.
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