March 13, 2012
The changes affect policies around “credit recovery,” which schools have used to let students earn credits for failed classes without retaking the classes themselves. The new rules restrict the frequency and timing of credit recovery and the online programs schools can use. And for the first time, the teacher who originally issued the failing grade must weigh in on the decision of whether to grant a student credit for make-up work.
The rule changes could radically reshape some schools’ practices — particularly if they have been abusing leniencies under the current rules and giving students credit for work they haven’t really done.
Responding to our story about a town hall meeting on credit recovery held last month, a commenter posting under the name “Glad to be out of there” described how exactly that happened at his school:
Kids were supposed to do two sets of online problems, 75 questions each and get a minimum grade of 75. They were supposed to provide some sort of proof they actually did the work on their own. When the kids didn’t do this, the number was reduced to one set of 75 questions, passing grade 65 and no proof of work required. I know many kids had friends and private tutors do the assignments for them. The [instructional support services] chairperson paid teachers to come in on Saturday and do the work for the children, working with the kids when the kids were supposed to be in credit recovery gym. She told the students to sign in for gym and then go do the work. She also had them do credit recovery assignments during their regular classes. The after-school program, the one kids were attending to make up credits, also allowed them to do this assignment, giving them two credits at the same time. In reality, they did nothing. It was a sham to make the administration look like they were doing a good job.
With schools’ credit recovery practices set to change July 1, we’d like to know more about how the practice has played out in the past. Share your stories in the comments.