Rockwood School District refutes claims it's lowering expectations for students

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by Chris Stanford / News 4 | @StanfordKMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 6:38 AM

(KMOV.com) -- The Rockwood School District is defending allegations it’s letting students down by lowering expectations.

A letter to the editor, published by the Post-Dispatch, claims “due dates for class work cannot be enforced; homework cannot be counted for a grade; tests, quizzes, and projects may be redone until the desired grade is achieved”.

The author is Melissa Schumacher, a teacher at Lafayette High School.

Schumacher goes on to write; “The School Board is expected to approve the following for next school year: students will earn a 50 percent on all assignments whether they are turned in or not.  Also, cheating and plagiarism will not result in a zero.” The district says this is false.

“As far as I know that’s not where we’re heading,” says Katie Nease, Social Studies K-12 Content Facilitator for Rockwood Schools.

Nease says teacher can still enforce due dates and assignments taken home are still graded. There is formative work students do Nease says that is treated like practice and not graded. As far as quizzes and tests, it’s reasonable for a teacher to give a student another opportunity, because learning the material is important, says Nease.

“This is a way for us to gain further clarity that the grades we give students are clear and accurate reflections of the learning,” says Nease.

The letter to the editor says parents are “outraged” by these policies because they conflict with future employers’ expectations of timely, proficient work.

The district’s grading policy has been rolling out since 2000 and is not set in stone and is revised based on teacher feedback, district leaders say.  Schumacher accused the district of letting students down, but Nease say they are not.

“No I feel that these are the right moves,” says Nease.

Schumacher says she does not regret writing the letter.  She says she wrote it to open a dialogue between district leaders and parents.

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