Parents baffled by grading runaround

It's hard to believe the runaround endured by the parents of a Jay High School student trying to correct what they believed to be a grading mistake.

According to Dean and Pamela Couture, their son had an 85 percent average in history last May when they checked his grades online. Many schools now encourage parents to monitor their student's progress on a secure Web site.

But, when report cards arrived, parents and son were surprised to find his 85 had become a 65, meaning he had gone from a low B to failing the class, all in a matter of weeks.

The Coutures are the sort of parents school teachers and school districts encourage; they put academics first and clearly care about their son's performance.

When the Coutures saw the discrepancy, they talked to a school secretary about it and were told it would be straightened out in the fall.

But when school resumed in the fall, they heard nothing from the high school, so they approached a guidance counselor who told them they should have addressed the issue in the spring. By this time, the computer records in question had been erased to make way for new software.

So, the Coutures took their complaint to the board. Superintendent Robert Wall contacted the student teacher who had taught the class, who confirmed the grade had been an 85 in May.

However, the supervising teacher would not change the grade. In Maine, it was explained, only a teacher can do so. The teacher in question was informed of the school board meeting to discuss the issue, but did not attend.

Since the online grading system was not backed up, the Coutures were left with no hard evidence to support their case ... except this: Their son had earned recognition as a scholar-athlete during the spring. If he had failed the history class, he would not have been eligible for that honor.

The Coutures say their son has been on the honor roll throughout his school years, and failing a class would have been out of character for him. And, they say, the incident has forced their son out of contention for a top-10 rank at graduation.

The family went to the school board last week simply asking that the online grading system be backed up to avoid something like this from happening to another student. And, now, it apparently will be.

Still, the district owes the family an apology for not getting to the bottom of this complaint in an effective, timely fashion.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

 

 

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Comments

 's picture

Wall is a moronic example of

Wall is a moronic example of every Superintendent who lacks the courage to do the right thing. Instead of correcting the actions he passed it off the blind citing a central switch from servers. However, if the systems were made obsolete it would not be mentioned that the grading was an eighty-five and that the student was in danger of failing. If Mr. Wall wants to continually have problems were he backs down without doing really anything for his students it might be worthwhile to probe into the matter either civilly or criminally to see if in fact there was a direct knowledge of the changes taking place and the records still being maintained. It appears to me that there will always be copies of records and if Mr. Wall wants to violate the students rights by declining them a hard earned grade which the student has worked for it appears that a moronic Superintendent allows children in failure to unite due to his failed practices. As someone who has worked with databasing and technology there will always be records if Mr. Wall does not understand this perhaps he could explain the costs to the town assembly of the switching in systems and technologies and how it has affected the cost and per-ratio attendance of the students.

Joseph Ziehm
Lewiston, ME
"Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;" Colossians 4: 1-2

ROGER COUTURIER's picture

There has to be more to this

There has to be more to this story! I can't believe that no one in this school district can make this right. If only the teacher can change the grade then he or she should be called before the school board to explain why the grade suddenly changed fro an 85 to a 65. The person who told the parents that the problem would be rectified in the fall should also be made to explain such a stupid response to a parent's concern. To the parents, why did you not insist on immediate action to fix the problem when it surfaced? This can be a significant event that can affect this students future. Like I said this whole situation does not make sense, there has to be more to the story!

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

No one will be fired your

No one will be fired your talking breaucrats here only interested in thier own well being!! they dont need to worry they get over 30,000.00 in benefits a year plus a decent salery to boot and like teachers who only work about half the year they expect more and use scare tactics on the voters to pay them even more Oh its for the children if we dont get our way the children will all suffer well this statement only brings forth thier true agenda they will not teach the children properly if they dont recieve ever increasing pay and benifits which means they ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY AND NOT FOR THE CHILDREN.

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