## The Grading Scale: E For Effort

I don’t know about this grading scale crap. I think we need to all get together and decide on one scale that is uniform. I mean, in elementary school,  if a kid gets a 64%, he gets a loser D. But,  if he later enrolls at a particular college and gets a 64% because he is still a loser, but now a loser frat boy, then he will get an F. That is really going to confuse him. More than figuring out what is a vowel and what is a consonant.

Our grading scale at most elementary schools is as follows:

90-100=A

80-90=B

70-80=C

60-70=D

0-60=F

I often wondered why there is no E on the grading scale. My mom used to say that I should get an “E for effort.” That sure made me feel good. It’s about as good as my husband telling my daughter that, “College isn’t for everyone.” But, why skip a letter? There is no E, yet we have a sixty point range for F-ers. (F-ers…That made me laugh.) I’m wondering if F really does stand for “failure,”  like I grew up thinking.  They can’t use the E because kids would maybe get confused and think they were doing something “Excellent.” But, one could say the same for an “F.” It could mean “fantastic.”

When I was in high school, we had numbers for our grading scale. Brooke High was a pretty progressive school.  The following is our numbers with the letter  equivalents:

5=A

4=B

3=C

2=D

1=F

I bet some of you were confused. A lot of people think that a “1″ should mean ”You are number 1!” You would think that it would be on top. People wear a huge number 1 on their hand at football games. That’s a good thing. But, when you get a “1″ on a report card, that is bad. Life sucks.

Afterall, one is the loneliest number. It can be a loser number.  Like when you go to a restaurant by yourself and they call your name. “Loser, party of one.” Ok, so I heard that at Dirty Dicks restaurant when I was at Myrtle Beach. Still makes me laugh.

I don’t think many high schools used this numeral formula. It was weird thinking in any terms but numbers. So, when I went off to college, and had to deal with letters and a different grading scale, I was confused, and pissed.

“Excuse me, Dr. StupidHead, but I should have received an A for  British Lit. My average was a 92%.”

“Ms. Mendenhall, did you not read my syllables and general information at the beginning of the term? An “A” is 93%-100%.”

The hell you say? Well, hell no, I didn’t read your first day bullshit, Dr. Worm. I had sorority parties to attend.  Don’t  you professors know that we students have a lot on our plates?  You should have just told us the first day of school. We don’t read what we absolutely do not have to read. You should know that, dammit.

Another thing that I just don’t know how I feel about is the whole A+ stuff. If a student gets a 100%, they would most likely get a big ole A+ on their paper. But, isn’t that for above and beyond. If you get a perfect paper, isn’t an A sufficient?  I don’t give many pluses. Oh, I might if they have a 79%. I may give the student a C+, since it is oh so close to a B. But, I rarely give A+’s.

Some parents are quite concerned with grades. Maybe just a little too much. You have no idea how upset they get  if their child gets a “B.”

“I don’t understand, because my Johnny has always received straight A’s. We just don’t understand why all of a sudden he is getting a B.”

My make believe Johnny is just an amalgam of all the students I have each year. Oh, most of the parents are wonderful. Their children are wonderful. But, I get a knot in my stomach when it is time for parent teacher conference, so I think I am going to change my grading scale just to mess with them. They will not be able to figure out if their child is doing well or not. They won’t be able to blame me for anything, because they will have no idea what the hell is going on.

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Ms. Mendenhall’s Grading Scale

2011-2012

Dear parents,

I have reconfigured the grading scale to use with my fourth graders. I  believe that hard work is the only way to truly judge how a child is doing in my classroom. So, he will be graded on effort.

E = Effort

If the child receives an E on his report card, it means that he is showing enough effort to receive an effort.

EE=enough effort

If the child receives an EE on his report card, it means that he is showing enough effort.

EM=Embryo effort

If the child receives an EM on his report card, it means that he is just learning a skill, and is still at this stage, while others may be at another level, depending on their birth date. If your child is younger than 50% of the class, his effort may be younger.

EL=Elastic effort

If the child receives an EL on his report card, it means that the effort is elastic. He moves ahead and he moves behind. He is showing an effort, even though it may be  embryonically elastic.

EF=Effusive effort

If a child receives an EF on his report card, it means that his effort is effusing.

EMB=Embolism

If a child receives an EMB on his report card, it means that some obstacles stand in his way, yet through effort he may be able to work through the obstruction. The effort is effusing, through elasticized endeavors.

EA=Eager effort

If a child receives an EA on his report card, it means that he is very eager about his effort. His effort is effusingly eager.

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After I give them a copy of the new rules, I think I will start off  with a quote that they will be able to digest later when they get home. It is from one of the brightest men of our time, Mr. Dan Quayle:

“If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure”

Yeah, that should screw with them for a few hours. Another thing I could do is talk about their child’s poor poor grades, and then say, “Oh, wait a minute. I’ve got another student’s records. Ok, here are your son’s.” And so a couple of “B’s” won’t sound so bad, compared to the previous 2 “D’s” and the rest “C’s”  loserville.

Yeah, I could totally mess with them.

### 20 responses to this post.

1. Your grading scale would have been much better than the ones we dealt with — which seemed to change every year. It made me crazy enough to send my son to military school.

• I keep telling my fellow teachers that our educational system is messed up.

2. Reblogged this on Healthy, Happy Living and commented:
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER’S POSTS. They were kind enough to let me share this wonderful article with you.

• Thanks! How nice of you to reblog my post.

• Thanks!

3. Reblogged this on Mysterious Japan and commented:
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER’S POSTS. They were kind enough to let me share this wonderful article with you.

4. I agree. I believe it is what we learn and how we relate to each other and life that is important. Not the A,B,Cs etc. of our report cards.

• I do believe that there should be a grading system. I honestly feel better having one. But, some parents seem to blame me if their child gets a B. I even drop the lowest grade in each subject if it looks like it isn’t consistent and much lower than the other grades. You know, sometimes kids just have an off day. But, when I was little, my parents never looked at the teacher funny. It was me. Now, it seems that parents go right for the teacher.

• It is sad that the parents blame the teacher so often for what should be the child’s responsibility. In all my days of parenting my two children, they are both in their twenties now, only once did I think the teacher played any part in my child’s grade and this was because my daughter felt intimidated by the teacher and would not ask questions that could help her improve. But after I told the teacher this, she started acting differently toward my daughter and my daughter’s grades got better.

I think what I don’t like is a true grading curve where only one person in the class can get the high grade etc. I think a student should get what they get because of their own effort and aptitude. But sometimes even that does not really show true results about a person either. Take the case of my son who is actually very intelligent, with a high IQ. But when he is in class, he does not make grades that show this because he suffers from ADD and is very stubborn about admitting that he has a problem. So in this case, it is not about his ability, but about his stubbornness and an actually illness that goes untreated.

For myself, I like grades because they tell me how I am doing in a subject. I am one of those people who would take classes forever. I love to learn.

5. Holy cow. I love your post. I love your new grading scale. I love the word “ominous” (and how windy it makes the sky look). LOL. Good times. This is just what I needed to read before going in to work this morning.

• Aww, thank you so much. My son, 26, seems to really enjoy using that word. I think we should have a favorite word every day. Today, mine shall be…visceral..lol

6. Interesting way to put all this. Prayers.

7. I agree. You’ve got to call a spade a spade.

• Could idea. I will call them a spade when they come in for parent teacher conference, to further confuse them.

8. Posted by Elizabeth on February 11, 2012 at 2:12 am

April 1st coming around the corner, that would be a good time to give it to the parents.

• Elizabeth, I have 21 students, and only 6 signed up to come in to parent teacher’s conference. Of course, I looked in their red take home folders while they were at Media, and I think there were 8 kids who didn’t even give it to their parents. Oh well.