Leatherneck Blogger

Consistency K-12 in Jackson, Missouri Schools

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Brad Noel                                                                                                                       Candidate for Jackson School Board

Let’s talk about consistency. Consistency is an essential part in the education process because it lets the students know what is expected of them from year to year, however in the Jackson R-2 School District that has somehow fallen through the cracks. They have chosen instead to replace it with a hodgepodge of theories and grading styles that leave not only the children wondering what will come next but the parents at home scratching their heads in confusion.

In the Elementary levels, K-5, they are currently using the Standards Based Grading method which is a topic of discussion all to itself that I will address specifically in a future blog. This style of grading allows the students to take tests as many times as necessary in order to achieve the desired outcome which is currently a 3. Yes, I said a 3 and not a letter grade as they have replaced traditional letter grades with numbers. Now jump to the Middle School, upon entering grade 6 the district in its infinite wisdom has chosen to do an about face and return now to the traditional style of grading in which the students receive letter grades for each subject. What, where have the numbers gone? Surely this must be an oversight and we will soon see the numbers return to our reports cards that we have become accustomed to for the last 6 years. WRONG!!! The Middle School is exactly the same grading style that every one of us grew up under and served us so well for decades. In Middle School you no longer have the opportunity to re-take a test, if you fail that’s the grade that is entered into the grade book, but wait we just went through 6 years of being able to take a test multiple times how are our children supposed know what is expected of them if it changes every time they wake up. Big leap forward to High School, ahh finally we are approaching the time in our education career that the real world is going to start really kicking in right? Not so fast, once again the district changes things up, you still receive your letter grades and the grading scales are very similar, however if you don’t like the grade you get on a test or you are not prepared to take the test on test day you can get a do over. Really, a do over, how does this teach our kids responsibility? How does this teach our kids that there are consequences for their actions or lack thereof? In twelve (12) years of school we have gone from number grades and multiple test re-takes to letter grades and no test re-takes and back again to multiple test re-takes, one word for this INCONSISTENT!!

Now if you are like me you are asking yourself how did this all come about? Simply put, the current Jackson R-2 Board has failed in their duties to oversee the operations of this district and things have gotten all discombobulated. Even after having parents notify them of the inconsistencies occurring they chose to cover their ears, close their eyes and silence the crowds in what seems to be an attempt to make it somehow all go away magically. Well I’m sorry that’s not going to work, you have got to roll up your sleeves, dig in and see to it that this District has the same philosophies from start to finish. This is a total combined district and not a bunch of little factions operating under their own rules. Should the voters choose to have me represent them on the Jackson R-2 School Board in April I will ask the hard questions, I will fight for consistency, and I will do my dead level best to see to it that this District once again becomes a place where people want to come back to and raise their families.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

March 31, 2013 at 06:00

Posted in Other

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