Here is what jumped out at me.
Just 62 percent correct on the physics semester exam equals an A, for example.
"I can guarantee you no student is going to get a worse grade," said David Steele, the Hillsborough County School District's general director for secondary education. "Our goal is to ensure the grade on the semester exam mirrors the class grades for the nine weeks."
Hillsborough was first in the state to have a merit pay plan approved because it could use its semester exams to gauge student performance for other subject area teachers. But teachers are evaluated on actual scores, not on letter grades.
The district is paying $3.1 million during five years for the software was used to scale the semester exams, said John Hilderbrand, Hillsborough's testing and accountability chief. But it is also used by teachers to create their own tests and improve exams.
Scam-tron anyone? Do you think the curved grades are automatically entered on the grade gathering documents OR into the report card program?
Hillsborough is changing the grading of its semester exams at the same time high school teachers have added one class period to their day. They now teach six out of seven periods, a move by the district to save money that drew fire from teachers. The district has agreed with the teachers union to evaluate the effect on students and teachers of the heavier workload.
Steele confirmed he has heard from principals that some teachers suspect the timing of the new grading scale was done to ensure student performance would improve.
"We will not compare semester grades," Steele said. "We will be comparing raw scores on tests that are new or have changed."Get ready.
Is it any wonder this grade manipulation/inflation continues to undermine the value of our diplomas in high school and college?
Teach to the test: be it FCAT or HiCcuPS.