Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: How does honor roll work in your schools?

  1. #1

    How does honor roll work in your schools?

    This is really no big deal at all and not a complaint, I'm just curious and a little surprised.

    My son came home with his report card and his GPA for the last nine weeks was a 98. But he didn't make honor roll.

    This district has distinguished honor roll (95 and up) and regular honor roll (90-94.99). But apparently in order to be included on either of these, they have to make an 85 or above in all classes.

    J. had an 80 in one class because he didn't turn in an assignment on time and only got half credit (it was done, but he forgot to bring it in). The class was health class, so it wasn't weighted as heavily as the other classes (.125) and therefore did not bring down his GPA much.

    Although I can see holding distinguished honor roll to the 85+ rule, it seems that kids with a good grade point average should at least be included on the regular honor roll. It must be at least a little frustrating for a kid to achieve a high GPA and yet be left off (though J. seemed okay with it - he's a bit of a perfectionist, so I hope it isn't bothering him - it didn't seem to be).

    On the subject of honor rolls - it seems like the honor roll lists are WAY too long in most districts. I worked in a school office for 3 years in IN and then stuffed report cards for the middle school here in PA and in both places I was amazed at how many kids had above average grades. Maybe I'm just cynical, but if this many kids do this well, is it because the teachers are all so terrific or are teachers grading too easy these days? No offense to the teachers out there, because of course this does not apply to all teachers, but it seems like kids get good grades so easily these days, at least in the 2 districts we've been in. I really do wonder about the seemingly inordinate number of kids who achieve above-average grades these days..........if most kids are above average, what does average or above average mean anymore?

  2. #2
    I think they're somewhat reluctant to give Cs until they get to HS at least, since it can be pretty demoralizing to be a C student (or worse!) in 2nd grade. So I imagine that most kids are A, B students, especially in middle school and elementary.

    Even when I went to HS, most people got As, and you had to take honors / AP classes to ensure you were in the top 10% (to get higher than a 4.0). I wasn't graded on a bell curve until college (and we were occasionally curved downward, depending on how the class average was). So a C was truly average. I just can't imagine doing that to kids, even in high school... My guess is a B is probably average.

    Mine are still in elementary, and they have an A Honor Roll, and an A/B Honor Roll. You have to have ALL As (not an average) to get the A honor roll, and only As or Bs for the A/B honor roll. Most kids at least get the A/B honor roll... Not sure how it is in middle and high school.

  3. #3
    Yeah, the A and A/B honor roll does sound familiar from our Indiana district - also not an average, I think. And it's harder to get As in every class as opposed to getting an A average, so I can definitely see that.

    Maybe I'm just thinking of college - it was an overall average that counted.

    But not giving out Cs because it's demoralizing? (I'm not arguing with you, Leight, but with the system. ) That doesn't make any sense. As if it's NOT going to be demoralizing to get a slap of reality when they hit high school, or worse, not until college? Why in the world would it be a good idea to lead them to believe it's easy to get As and Bs and then hit them with the reality later on? I think it's another example of the whole "self esteem" thing gone amuck......

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by leightx View Post
    Even when I went to HS, most people got As, and you had to take honors / AP classes to ensure you were in the top 10% (to get higher than a 4.0). I wasn't graded on a bell curve until college (and we were occasionally curved downward, depending on how the class average was). So a C was truly average. I just can't imagine doing that to kids, even in high school... My guess is a B is probably average.
    I'm not suggesting grading on a curve, but there have to be standards as to what constitutes a C or an A. If you're going to give an A just for completing an assignment and getting it "mostly" right, where's the incentive to try harder? If students get used to getting As for mediocre work and excellent work alike, where's the incentive to excel? Or more to the point, how will they even know good work then they see it? And what happens when they get a dose of hard reality and can't keep up? I don't think we're doing them any favors by giving out easy As and Bs. And then we accuse them later of being lazy underachievers? Well no wonder - what have they been taught all along?

    Again, not picking on you Leigh! Really!

  5. #5
    At my middle school, we have A and A/B honor rolls. There were a LOT that made it first nine weeks, but not nearly as much this last one.

    I can't add anything to the grading from my experiences. My students are all on modified grading (intellectually disabled). I did have a couple make the honor roll...for instance, my sweet 6th grader who has Down Syndrome. He works hard, does his work, and is a joy to have in class (though I wish he'd talk more! And louder). He made honor roll. Some may have a problem with that....

    Our school does an honor roll breakfast every 9 weeks. Breakfast is OJ and donuts. I guess the kids like them as they all get eaten, but donuts? I know some teachers have tried to change this to something a bit nicer, but w/o success.
    Jennifer


    And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
    --Abraham Lincoln

    Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.
    --Emerson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    980
    I'm not really sure how it works here - but I think it has to be 85 and over in all classes. This is high school. Middle school I think it was the combined classes average (including gym, art, music). In middle school they sent post cards home. For high school I think you get your name in the town newspaper. There is also a "high honor roll" and I think that is 95 and above for your average. I could be wrong on this, just not sure.

    We also have "effort" grades of 1-4. You want to have at least a 3 for effort (especially if the grade isn't so hot). The teacher acknowledges that maybe you're only getting a 70, but you're working very hard to get that 70.
    barbara-cook

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Out looking for a sous chef
    Posts
    5,793
    I've seen differences b/w private & public school, or at least over the years. When I was in school (private), I think "high honors" meant more. Grading was this way for me: 93-100 = A, 86-92 = B, etc. Now, in public schools (all of them? don't know), it's 90-100 = A, and 80-89 = B. An A means a lot more when it's 93+, and I think honor rolls need to be pretty restrictive or else they're meaningless (as the OPs have hinted). IMO, with no intent to offend anyone on this thread , if you can't get at least 86% of something right, you need to make a C--I'll never buy into the idea that an 85 is a solid B; maybe it's my early programming .

    (BTW, jjsooner73, I think it's wonderful that your Down Syndrome student made honor roll. That's different. )
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by testkitchen45 View Post
    I've seen differences b/w private & public school, or at least over the years. When I was in school (private), I think "high honors" meant more. Grading was this way for me: 93-100 = A, 86-92 = B, etc. Now, in public schools (all of them? don't know), it's 90-100 = A, and 80-89 = B. An A means a lot more when it's 93+, and I think honor rolls need to be pretty restrictive or else they're meaningless (as the OPs have hinted). IMO, with no intent to offend anyone on this thread , if you can't get at least 86% of something right, you need to make a C--I'll never buy into the idea that an 85 is a solid B; maybe it's my early programming .

    (BTW, jjsooner73, I think it's wonderful that your Down Syndrome student made honor roll. That's different. )
    The scale you described was how my public high school was 17 years ago (yikes, I'm that old?)
    Jennifer


    And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
    --Abraham Lincoln

    Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year.
    --Emerson

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by testkitchen45 View Post
    I've seen differences b/w private & public school, or at least over the years. When I was in school (private), I think "high honors" meant more. Grading was this way for me: 93-100 = A, 86-92 = B, etc. Now, in public schools (all of them? don't know), it's 90-100 = A, and 80-89 = B. An A means a lot more when it's 93+, and I think honor rolls need to be pretty restrictive or else they're meaningless (as the OPs have hinted). IMO, with no intent to offend anyone on this thread , if you can't get at least 86% of something right, you need to make a C--I'll never buy into the idea that an 85 is a solid B; maybe it's my early programming .

    (BTW, jjsooner73, I think it's wonderful that your Down Syndrome student made honor roll. That's different. )

    This has been my experience as well - I wasn't sure if it was the difference b/w public and private, or just a different time. My private school's scale was 93 and 94 were A-, 95-98 was an A, and an A+ was a 99 or 100. I was usually really hacked when I got an A-.

    In all the public schools I know of in TX, it's the 90 or higher = A; 80+ = B, etc.

    I agree Alysha, that the good grades become somewhat meaningless when everyone is capable of an A. But then again, I'm a weirdo who thinks that mastery of a subject is more important than grades anyway. I just wish our entire educational system weren't so dependent on grades, and specifically the competition for those grades. If all the kids in the class actually master their times tables or state capitals, then they should all get As.

    I think the constant comparison can be really hard on kids (and heck, on adults too). My two kids are constantly comparing themselves in school, much to my chagrin.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    One Particular Harbour
    Posts
    2,375
    This is a little pet peeve of mine too, and I posted a thread about this last year at this time.

    In our public middle school, we have a distinguished honor roll (A's in all major subjects and A/B's in minor ones) and regular honor roll (All A's and B's). And to get an A you have to have a 93 or above, a B is 83 - 92.

    I would prefer some sort of average. Personally, I feel that a kid who gets all A's and one C is a better student than one who gets straight B's. But the latter child would make honor roll, while the former would not.

    I was upset this time last year, because at DS's school they have a special award for anyone who is on distinguished honor roll for all 12 marking periods in middle school. So DS put himself under a lot of pressure to maintain straight As. But in social studies last year he got a 92; there was a lot of pressure and score-keeping among the kids as to who was still on "all distinguished" every marking period. It just seems sort of petty and priming the kids to be perfectionist. I think the new principal would like to revamp the system, but he knows he might get a lot of grief from kids and/or parents.

    As to your thought about whether too many kids are "above average" (like Lake Wobegon? ), I don't know. DS's school has an awards assembly every marking period where they call up all the dist. honors and regular honors students. The are seated in the auditorium in alphabetical order, first dist. honors, then honors, then the rest of the grade. It seems to me that about half or so of the kids are in front and half of the kids are "behind the line." (We always tell the kids we expect them to be in the front of the room in those assemblies.)

    Sometimes I think the grading is harder than I would like, on some multiple choice tests. If it is a 20 question test and you get 2 wrong, you are already at a B. Of course most of the grades are from papers and projects and short answer things. I do often read DS's written homework and think he did not develop his idea enough, or provide enough details, etc. I am surprised when he gets an A, but perhaps my expectations are too high for what the average 7th grade student is supposed to be producing.

    So I really can't say whether grading is too lenient, I guess I just don't have enough to compare it to. I will say that in our district we have a pretty high proficient or better on PSSAs (the dreaded NCLB tests in PA) and we are not a wealthy or particularly high-achieving district, compared to some of the suburban Philly districts (which rate better than a lot of private schools in some rankings).
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,320
    Quote Originally Posted by leightx View Post
    I think they're somewhat reluctant to give Cs until they get to HS at least, since it can be pretty demoralizing to be a C student (or worse!) in 2nd grade. So I imagine that most kids are A, B students, especially in middle school and elementary.
    My kids' school must not have gotten that memo because my fifth grader has gotten a few C's this year and yesterday brought home his very first D!
    Karen

  12. #12
    Well...I know there are kids who get Cs and Ds (even in 2nd grade), but if C was average, that means MOST kids would get Cs on everything, not just the occasional C or D on one paper (or even the occasional class). I don't think the majority of the class getting C averages would be good for anyone.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    One Particular Harbour
    Posts
    2,375
    I do struggle with the concept of what a grade should mean. In some subjects, like math or some sciences, it might be easier to quantify what has been learned. If you take a test on the times tables and get a C or 75, to me that means you only know about three-quarters of the material, and I don't think that is "average". You should be able to master more like 80-85% at least to have "mastered" a subject (at the elem/middle school level, I am talking!).

    On writing papers and other types of projects it can be harder to grade. I can see how it would be tempting to grade on a curve - i.e. if Sally paper is flawless, of extremely high quality and thus gets an A, then does Joe's "good" paper have to get a B?

    In our school they often have rubrics to govern grading papers. While it does bother me a little (I always think of "Flowers are Red" by Harry Chapin, or "The Dead Poets Society"'s poetry anthology scene where they graph how good a poem is), it does make for a bit more objectivity in grading.
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ulster County, NY
    Posts
    1,548
    Quote Originally Posted by BucknellAlum View Post
    I would prefer some sort of average. Personally, I feel that a kid who gets all A's and one C is a better student than one who gets straight B's. But the latter child would make honor roll, while the former would not.
    I just have to say that I was a an A/C student in high school. As in everything except for math and science which were always Cs. The schools I went to had the 93-100 = A etc grading scales. I made honor roll twice - first quarter of freshman year and the last term of senior year. My Cs kept me off the rest of the time.

    I went to an Ivy League college. I used to (still do) kind of joke that I was probably the only undergrad there who wasn't an honor roll student in HS!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •