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    #245063 - 03/18/19 05:02 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: indigo]
    philly103 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 95
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    For the most part, teachers should be striving towards equal outcomes. In that they want all of their students to equally master the class curriculum.
    Because your post specified educational levels other than college, I will share the following -
    Originally Posted By: Accelerate Illinois
    ... recent research from Johns Hopkins University... The study’s authors estimate that 20 to 40 percent of elementary and middle school students perform at least one grade level above their current grade in reading and 11 to 30 percent score at least one grade level above in math.
    For the 11 to 40 percent of students who have already mastered the class material and are performing at least one grade level above their current grade...
    a goal of "equal outcomes" translates to no growth for these pupils, while the remainder of grade level cohort catches up.
    In this age of "equal outcomes" many gifted pupils experience their growth being capped.


    I'm not talking solely about advanced kids. I talking about education in general. Also, it's irrelevant that 20-40% of kids are performing above grade level (which is still a minority of the class). That doesn't change the goal of the teachers regarding educating their students.

    That information is relevant to creating a broader range of classes for students to reflect the broad range of abilities or to the importance of acceleration but not to point I was making.

    A school should have better class groupings so that advanced kids can take classes with similar level peers. Not that schools should raise the rigor of regular classes at the expense of the other students.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    To the degree that teachers/schools/programs may be rated/ranked based on generating grades which report "equal outcomes" some pupils in a class may experience stagnant growth while other pupils in the same class may experience grade inflation.

    This may occur at college/university levels where inbound, formative, and summative (outbound) assessments may be conducted.


    That might true but it's not relevant to my point about the goal of the classroom

    The problem is not "equal outcomes" but insufficient range of choices for different skill level students. It's stupid to expect a 5th grade math class to teach 7th grade math just because a minority percentage of the students can handle it. Those students should be allowed to attend the 7th grade math class instead of forcing the the kids who can only manage 5th grade math to struggle with concepts beyond them.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Seeing the goal of grades which report "equal outcomes" as being flawed is NOT the same as striving to fail kids. Some may say that an appropriate goal for grades is to provide honest and meaningful feedback on a student's grasp of the material.

    Sure, the goal of grades is to provide meaningful feedback on a student's grasp of the material, i.e. the curriculum. And the teachers' goal is to ensure that all students fully grasp the material, i.e. the curriculum. Teachers want "equal outcomes" because it means that all of the students have learned the material.

    Your concern about equal outcomes seems predicated on the idea that teachers should not want all of their 5th graders to grasp the 5th grade curriculum solely because there are some kids who are capable of grasping more.

    The students capable of more should move on to classrooms delivering more instead of assigning a negative framework to teachers doing what teachers are supposed to do - helping all students master the curriculum for that class.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Some may say the classroom's goal should be one term's growth for each pupil and/or an honest measurement of growth for that pupil throughout the term.


    Most would say that the classroom's goal is to impart the curriculum to the class. When the student has mastered the curriculum the student should move to a different classroom.

    It seems more like a sense of misunderstanding between a class curriculum and private instruction. A classroom should have a curriculum, students should learn the curriculum. Teachers should make sure that all students learn the same curriculum - your "equal outcomes". When the student has finished the curriculum, the student should change to a new curriculum. The teacher should not stop focusing on teaching the curriculum to the other students who still need to finish it.

    We all have gifted kids, I assume. I don't expect the school to stop teaching the other kids basic math just because my kid is beyond the material. Nor do I expect the classroom to roll at my kid's level because then no one else would learn anything. I expect the school to find a way to accommodate my kid without sacrificing its responsibility to the other students - which is to make sure that all of the kids equally master the core curriculum, the necessary "equal outcome".

    But that's my take. I think the education of all the kids is equally important and you don't denigrate teaching the masses just because of the existence of outliers. You find a way to accommodate the outlier.

    You are, of course, entitled to view it differently.

    Top
    #245064 - 03/18/19 07:01 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: Bostonian]
    mecreature Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/11
    Posts: 358
    Nicely worded philly! Thanks for taking the time to put this down.
    I have struggled explaining this like you have here. A lot of gifted parents feel this way too.

    I am going to steal/share some of your thoughts.

    Top
    #245065 - 03/18/19 07:15 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: philly103]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I'm not talking solely about advanced kids. I talking about education in general.
    Absolutely. When considering education in general, 11-40% of pupils know the material before the class begins.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    That doesn't change the goal of the teachers regarding educating their students.
    The goal of generating grades which signal "equal outcomes"?
    -VS-
    The goal of achieving one term's growth for each student and/or grades which honestly reflect the growth (or lack of growth) for each pupil throughout the term?

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Teachers should make sure that all students learn the same curriculum - your "equal outcomes".
    I believe you are describing "grade level proficiency."
    Grade level proficiency is NOT the same as assigning grades which indicate "equal outcomes."

    Regarding achieving grade level proficiency, some may say that a teacher's role is to provide ample opportunity for all students to learn the prescribed grade-level curriculum. Teachers cannot ensure student learning. Learning is the student's role.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    A school should have...
    In a perfect world, yes. I believe you used the word "should" 11 times in your post. I do agree that these are useful policies/practices to advocate for.

    Meanwhile, the thread has been discussing what IS, not what "should be." Various parties have been attempting to share their observations on trends in grade inflation/deflation, over time. I personally believe that BOTH grade inflation and grade deflation are occurring, and I believe both are occurring due to incentivization for teachers/schools/institutions/programs to assign grades which indicate "equal outcomes."

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    It's stupid to expect a 5th grade math class to teach 7th grade math just because a minority percentage of the students can handle it.
    I do not believe that has been suggested. If you believe otherwise, would you please kindly show me where this has been suggested?

    To use your form of expression, what's stupid is to assign grades to your exemplar 5th grade math class which indicate "equal outcomes" among all pupils when some of the children in your exemplar class are at the 7th grade math level.

    This, I believe is the essential topic of the thread: how much can we trust grades (and college degrees conferred) to be indicative of what the pupil knows,
    - when grades may be inflated (exaggerating student demonstrated performance)
    - when grades may be deflated (under-reporting student demonstrated performance)
    - when teachers/institutions/programs are incentivized to report grades which indicate "equal outcomes"

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Teachers want "equal outcomes" because it means that all of the students have learned the material.
    Assigning grades which indicate "equal outcomes" signals that all pupils have learned the material equally. That each is performing at a level which is indistinguishable from one another.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Your concern about equal outcomes seems predicated on the idea that teachers should not want all of their 5th graders to grasp the 5th grade curriculum solely because there are some kids who are capable of grasping more.
    This false. Concerns about teachers being incentivized to assign grades which indicate "equal outcomes" include:
    - grades not providing pupils with honest and meaningful feedback on growth throughout the term
    - falsifying records to signal that all pupils are performing at the same skill level
    - some students may receive inflated grades (exaggerating demonstrated knowledge)
    - some students may receive deflated grades (downplaying demonstrated knowledge)
    - there is a ceiling beyond which growth is not measured
    - growth beyond the ceiling is capped, thwarted, discouraged
    - there are a growing number of grading practices in use to ensure the reporting of "equal outcomes"
    - truth, honesty, integrity fall by the wayside when essentially measuring with a rubber ruler to report "equal outcomes"
    - questionable value of college degrees conferred

    Top
    #245066 - 03/18/19 07:31 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: indigo]
    Kai Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 647
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I'm not talking solely about advanced kids. I talking about education in general.
    Absolutely. When considering education in general, 11-40% of pupils know the material before the class begins.


    This statistic is misleading. It means that 11-40% of students scored as an average student in the next grade up would score on the same test. This does not mean that they have mastered the material typically taught in their own grade or the next grade up.

    Top
    #245067 - 03/18/19 07:39 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: Kai]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Originally Posted By: Kai
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    When considering education in general, 11-40% of pupils know the material before the class begins.


    This statistic is misleading. It means that 11-40% of students scored as an average student in the next grade up would score on the same test. This does not mean that they have mastered the material typically taught in their own grade or the next grade up.
    That may be. Do you have a source for that information? Thanks, Kai.

    Top
    #245068 - 03/18/19 07:45 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: Kai
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    When considering education in general, 11-40% of pupils know the material before the class begins.


    This statistic is misleading. It means that 11-40% of students scored as an average student in the next grade up would score on the same test. This does not mean that they have mastered the material typically taught in their own grade or the next grade up.
    That may be. Do you have a source for that information? Thanks, Kai.


    The quoted source in this post, Accelerate Illinois, provides this citation: 4. Matthew C. Makel, Michael S.Matthews, Scott J. Peters, Karen Rambo-Hernandez, and Jonathan A. Plucker, “How Can So Many Students Be Invisible? Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level”, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, 2016.

    I looked for a link, this is what I found:
    1) http://edpolicy.education.jhu.edu/how-ca...ve-grade-level/
    2) http://edpolicy.education.jhu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/StudentsinvisiblemastheadFINAL.pdf

    Reading linked research report...
    1- "performing above grade level"
    2- "one in every five students has surpassed that criterion before the school year even starts"
    3- not germane to this side conversation... but worth considering regarding grade inflation in general:
    "textbook and curriculum analyses suggest that intellectual rigor declined significantly over the last hundred years;8"

    4- "teachers, using pre-testing strategies, could eliminate 40-50% of the existing curriculum for advanced elementary school students without causing achievement declines on out-of-level standardized tests.9 The authors noted, “Targeted students had mastered some material in all content areas prior to instruction; at a minimum, they demonstrated mastery of one-fourth of the curriculum for the year before it was taught” (p. 81). A few students in the same study had mastered three-quarters of the upcoming year’s curriculum."
    5- "cut scores on ELA and mathematics at four levels: below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced... proficient to indicate performance that was on grade level"
    6- "students in a given grade level who scored at or above the proficiency threshold established for one year above their current grade in English Language Arts (ELA) or mathematics. Stated another way, all three tables present the percentage of students who are one or more years advanced in each content area."
    7- "estimate how many students were at least one year above grade level, by determining how many students at the beginning of Grade 5 were already achieving at end-of-year Grade 5 proficiency levels on MAP reading. We were also able to determine how many of these above-grade-level students achieved MAP test scores equivalent to year-end scores for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders."
    8- "At the beginning of their Grade 5 year, approximately 35% of students had scores commensurate with end-of-year Grade 5 proficiency reading levels... Further, approximately 10% of all Grade 5 students in our data demonstrated Grade 8 level end-of-year proficiency. These students were four school years ahead of grade level in reading..."
    9- "Nearly 14% of all Grade 5 students at the beginning of the school year were already earning MAP scores consistent with end-of-Grade-5 proficiency... About 2.4% of all Grade 5 students were achieving at levels equal to, or above, the end-of-Grade-8 (or high school level, four school years ahead of grade level) in mathematics."
    10- "... a MAP test score equivalent to ninth-grade performance is in fact based on ninth-grade content knowledge and skills."
    numbers added to count excerpts


    Although I was recalling information from 2+ years ago, and could've done so inaccurately, I believe the excerpts above indicate that "11-40% of pupils know the material before the class begins" represents the findings fairly well.

    While various assessments were utilized in this research, the methods described include early administration of the grade-level end-of-year tests and therefore do not appear to be accurately summarized by the statement: "It means that 11-40% of students scored as an average student in the next grade up would score on the same test. This does not mean that they have mastered the material typically taught in their own grade or the next grade up."

    Some students have significant inbound knowledge, however, with teachers/institutions incentivized to provide grades indicating "equal outcomes" these students may tend to receive grades indicating the same demonstrated knowledge as classmates. A variety of known grading techniques are in play, to deflate the reported grades of these students, and also inflate the reported grades of other students. This can occur at every educational level, including college.

    Top
    #245069 - 03/18/19 09:02 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: indigo]
    Kai Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 647
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: Kai
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    When considering education in general, 11-40% of pupils know the material before the class begins.


    This statistic is misleading. It means that 11-40% of students scored as an average student in the next grade up would score on the same test. This does not mean that they have mastered the material typically taught in their own grade or the next grade up.
    That may be. Do you have a source for that information? Thanks, Kai.


    The quoted source in this post, Accelerate Illinois, provides this citation: 4. Matthew C. Makel, Michael S.Matthews, Scott J. Peters, Karen Rambo-Hernandez, and Jonathan A. Plucker, “How Can So Many Students Be Invisible? Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level”, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, 2016.


    I looked at this article, and I stand by my statement. They are comparing student proficiency and *not* mastery of grade level content.

    Unfortunately, I don't have time to go into it further right now, but I will try to remember to revisit this thread when I do (which should be in the next few days).

    Top
    #245070 - 03/18/19 09:16 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: mecreature]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Originally Posted By: mecreature
    Nicely worded philly! Thanks for taking the time to put this down.
    I have struggled explaining this like you have here. A lot of gifted parents feel this way too.

    I am going to steal/share some of your thoughts.
    I hope these are the ideas from philly103's post that you wish to further disseminate, mecreature:
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    1) creating a broader range of classes for students to reflect the broad range of abilities
    2) the importance of acceleration
    3) A school should have better class groupings so that advanced kids can take classes with similar level peers.
    4) The problem is... insufficient range of choices for different skill level students.
    5) 5th grade... Those students should be allowed to attend the 7th grade math
    6) The students capable of more should move on to classrooms delivering more
    7) When the student has mastered the curriculum the student should move to a different classroom.
    8) When the student has finished the curriculum, the student should change to a new curriculum.
    9) I expect the school to find a way to accommodate my kid... You find a way to accommodate the outlier.
    numbers added, to count the excerpts

    Unfortunately, despite years of successful advocacy, some strong supporters of "equal outcomes" continue to object to acceleration and student grouping by ability, readiness, achievement... or any means of providing continued growth for pupils at the top, until pupils at the bottom catch up and attain grades reflective of having achieved "equal outcomes." Note: "equal outcomes" is NOT synonymous with "grade level proficiency."

    That said, much of the post was far outside the topic of college grade inflation, or even the broader topic of grading practices. I'll tie this back to the thread by saying that grades recorded for earlier educational levels do impact college readiness, college grades, college grade inflation/deflation, and the value of degrees conferred.

    Top
    #245071 - 03/18/19 10:45 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: indigo]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    I hope these are the ideas from philly103's post that you wish to further disseminate, mecreature:
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    1) creating a broader range of classes for students to reflect the broad range of abilities
    2) the importance of acceleration
    3) A school should have better class groupings so that advanced kids can take classes with similar level peers.
    4) The problem is... insufficient range of choices for different skill level students.
    5) 5th grade... Those students should be allowed to attend the 7th grade math
    6) The students capable of more should move on to classrooms delivering more
    7) When the student has mastered the curriculum the student should move to a different classroom.
    8) When the student has finished the curriculum, the student should change to a new curriculum.
    9) I expect the school to find a way to accommodate my kid... You find a way to accommodate the outlier.
    numbers added, to count the excerpts

    While I found your list of extracts to be interesting, especially in how it illustrates how different people can read the same post and take different things from it, I would also encourage people watching this thread to read and reflect on philly103's whole insightful post, rather than to rely on a "Cliffs Notes" version. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us, philly103, without worrying about whether it precisely fit within the bounds of the thread title.

    Top
    #245072 - 03/18/19 11:12 AM Re: College grade inflation [Re: Kai]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4958
    Originally Posted By: Kai
    They are comparing student proficiency and *not* mastery of grade level content.

    Unfortunately, I don't have time to go into it further right now, but I will try to remember to revisit this thread when I do (which should be in the next few days).
    I look forward to reading your thoughts and sources, whenever you may post them. In the meanwhile I believe we can both agree that the research indicates a percentage of American Students Perform Above Grade Level... thereby allowing the conversation of grade inflation/deflation to continue.

    When some students perform above grade level, are "equal outcomes" possible?

    What role does (or might) grade inflation/deflation play in recording grades which indicate "equal outcomes" among pupils with different performance levels... whether in earlier education experiences or at the college/university level?

    Top
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