My School’s Disgusting Grading System

“As I was informed the first week at my new school, the grading policy forbids teachers giving anything less than 70% on all homework and/or tests.

Any student who earns 69%, or less, on a test or homework assignment is given 70% and the given an opportunity to improve that grade. Test takeovers are administered after school, on my time. Makeup assignments should be turned in no later than two weeks from the original due date. Good luck!

In and of itself this isn’t a bad system. However, I have high school kids who submit homework with nothing more than their name, date and the assignment title at the top of a blank page. Since they turned something in I’m required to mark it 70%.

The make-up versions of blank page submissions has so far consisted of a couple of worthless paragraphs. The students then argue they deserve a higher grade on the make-up since it’s an improvement over their first attempt. The school actually supports this idiocy.

The students’ perspective on test results is equally ‘creative.’ A student who, in real life, deserved 47% on the original attempt, and 60% on the retake, argued she improved by 13%, making her combined grade for the test 83% (the mandatory 70% + 13%). I told her to take it up with the school Director. I’ve yet to hear back.

How I plan to survive this experience is beyond me. Yes, I read the Reviews. One of them spoke to this situation and I ignored it, thinking …. in what universe does this stuff take place? Now I know! Has anyone out there had a similar experience? Any suggestions for me?”

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25 thoughts on “My School’s Disgusting Grading System

  1. It’s a paycheck. No sense worrying to much, or losing sleep about the shenanigans of for profit schools. Looking for a more ethical capitalist minded school or any other business is like searching for unicorn’s. Capitalism is mostly vile on a day to day basis for the majority of people, schools modelled on the spirit of capitalism invariably are also just as vile. Let’s not sugar coat it with a handful of exceptional elite schools.

    Collect the cash for as long as you need to while actively seeking another job. Along the way have some fun. Exploit or punk the situation for what’s worth. Push it to the max. At the end of the day no one cares if you inflate the marks of some self entitled ruling class twats.

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  2. I agree with one of the posters who said that this pressure is not the norm. I have worked in a place where there was a push for grade inflation from one side, but the international academic directors have always blocked it. There will always be a system and people will try to game the system, a good academic director/principal/head will keep this nonsense off their teachers, but yeah it is best to take it up with the line manager. If that is their system, then act in a way that lets you sleep at night.

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  3. This makes such assessments unauthentic and it gives them a false sense of how the world works. It pushes for mediocrity not excellence. Such schools will get nasty reports about the students performance and la k of knowledge and the inability of students to know how to learn. These schools will hurt the students and college applications. Money is all they think about.

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  4. I’ve worked in six international schools, only one pushed for grade inflation, the other five were very clear about the need for accurate assessment and reporting. Inflated grades are not the norm, maybe try being more selective of the schools you’re willing to work for Ken.

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  5. Grade inflation and admin-endorsed and even facilitated cheating is common in many international schools in my experience. Including admin and teachers being given expensive gifts to make it happen. Calling it out just gets you fired. Best thing to do is to grit your teeth, finish the contract and move on.

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  6. Where the heck is this aberration of an “educational institution”?? Useless. Poor kids. They’re doomed. Parents are paying for the Emperor’s new clothes!!!

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  7. Different opinion, that again probably not going to be popular.

    This is your own fault. You chose to go to this school, knowing the grading system was like this, did you think you were going to change them or the system?

    Complaining now does nothing and asking what you should do should have been done before you signed the contract. We complain when parents try to change the systems we have in place, but we think as teachers we are going to arrive at a school and because we don’t like what they are doing they will change if we push enough.

    Of course the school is in the wrong with this grading system, and I am sure they are a for profit, but you are in the wrong for accepting a job at a school that you knew had this type of grading system.

    Things are so crazy these past few years, that if you were a friend and asked my opinion, I would counsel you to stay for the year and ask to be let out of your contract.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whatcha talking about? It’s 2022, we do things to be offended, this OP has made the ultimate sacrifice by ignoring the negative information, to find out it is real and then act offended by it.

      We couldn’t ask for anymore.

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    2. I agree with this. The person knew what they were getting into and willingly chose to ignore the facts and evidence. It was a foolish decision. The school has obviously been doing this for a long time and won’t change its ways, so there’s nothing the teacher can do except find another job at a more honest institution. What a shame that schools like this exist. They are not doing these students any favors at all. Once the kids get out into the real world they’ll be worse than useless, and they’ll be conditioned to defend their mediocrity rather than strive to do better. The future looks bleak indeed.

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  8. “Finding a way for the student to be successful” is how it is often phrased.
    I have never been questioned about high grades being given, but lots of questions if low grades are given. Eventually though, usually in university, the kids face a harsh reality. One University in Florida offers a “forgiveness” year, whereby the first year is wiped clean…..for a hefty fee of course.

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  9. Thr SABIS international school that I once worked for in Germany once distributed to teachers a formula by which to inflate IB assessments, which is “malpractice” by definition. I urged colleagues to refuse to cooperate with this and got sacked on a ridiculous pretext. Then I reported them to the International Baccalaureate Organization.

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    1. You actually think that reporting them to the IBO had an impact? The IBO, and their farcical certification process, is part of the scam.

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    2. Oh no, the IBO police.

      It is a business, nothing more, much like accreditation is, it’s bad business if schools fail or are removed. Has to be something major for them to get their certification pulled.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Replying to those who already replied to you. This past school year, the Director of my school called the IB Consultant and demanded that the school’s IBO Evaluation Report be changed to read more positively about the school. And it was changed. That was the final blow to any remaining shred of regard for the IBO I might have had. The IBO will not hold schools accountable. But hopefully, the IBDP examinations will present difficulty for unprepared students and eventually schools may consider actually educating their students rather than shining them on.

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  10. Work in a school that doesn’t do percentages as they are meaningless. Criterion referenced comments and levels of achievement are so much better for teaching and learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with criterion referenced based assessment. The MYP program is I believe the best middle school program in the world. Problem is, going from that to the IB program is like night and day, where strict hierarchal grading system is the norm. In the end I’d rather have a doctor operate on me who graduated from a school with high, clearly defined standards of achievement.

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  11. Leave – by supporting schools like this you just help to drag the entire profession down.

    Same applies to anyone else who’s working like this.

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  12. If the school refuses to alter this ridiculous, entitled policy for a more rational and representative/just one then it’s time to look for a better job. Obviously this school wants to cater to the entitled students and keep the money flowing in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And what private school doesn’t cater to entitled students? Because they attend that school they are by definition entitled. And what school doesn’t look for ways to keep the money flowing in? None that I know of. Do you live in a fantasy world?

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    2. I have worked at 5 private schools overseas and 4 out of 5 refused to alter grades or permit any such shenanigans. My colleagues also report the same statistics, which may or may not represent the actual norms but what dark world do you live in Ken. Wait, I know since what Einstein said about negative people fits you perfectly: “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.
      – Albert Einstein

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    3. Omgarsenal
      My career in teaching and administration has spanned 25 years, in Canada, South America, the Middle East, and Western Europe. I am not negative since I am still in the profession, doing well. My experience has been that private schools are all about the bottom line, and inflated grades are the norm. You sound like a real keener though. Admin. likes guys like you.

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    4. Hate to burst your bubble Ken but admin. rarely “liked” me because I called out their spurious financial and grading activities which forced them to either threaten me or talk to me about my “attitude”. I have no doubt you’ve had an experience of for-profit schools being cash cows and having jello grades but that doesn’t prove anything. Until a thorough and accurate study by a legitimate academic research group is available, it is simply spurious generalization.

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    5. Hi Ken, I think there is a spectrum of private schools that you are referring to. Some bend in the wind for the whims of parents, others feel that their academic reputation through rigorous standards will be enough to attract students.

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