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AEinMd Not sad...
Capt. Lookatmy Broadside
14099 posts
Joined: Jul 17, 2005

Posted at 6:37 pm on May 4, 2012

As a matter of fact, the use of grad ta is common in most universities and most profs don't grade their own papers.

The composition aides are WONDERFUL-- and probably fairer than the English teachers (and definitely more on top of their paperwork). As far as individualizing instruction-- how do you think individualization should take place at the high school level? The literature instruction is not individualized. The writing instruction is individualized through the composition aides. In other words, students meet one-on-one with the composition aides to work through assignments. With some assignments, it's optional. With others, it's mandatory. Composition aides sit in on classes when certain things are being covered. They're an integral part of the English instruction although they do not instruct the class. Of course, teachers can and do meet with students too. The simple truth though, is that there isn't enough time. The composition aides are there to suppport the teachers.

My oldest dd's school used composition aides for ALL English grading. Frankly, they really were more fair than the English teachers. The teachers at my other two kids' school like to do their own grading-- but it is quite frustrating because they (like every English teacher I ever had) take so long to return sizeable papers that any opportunity for feedback and instruction is lost.

About your experience.. I am sure parents complain about grades here but I've never seen anyone get anywhere on something like that! The rubrics are there for a reason. We didn't have rubrics back when I was in high school and the paper's grades were much more subjective. I'm not always fond of rubrics- because you can get points for stuff that isn't as important (like you can have a great video, do great research, etc, etc-- and still write an analysis that MISSES THE POINT! Grrrrr!) but, well, I understand the fairness of the process.

I've never quite looked at those high school numbers but, let's see: I think our gpas are ever so slightly lower and our kids take more tests. 27% of the kids here have gpas of 3.5 or above uneweighted. There are 1800 kids in the whole school: 802 took 1539 AP tests plus juniors and seniors took 2561 IB tests. (I'm not sure how many tested but that's only open to juniors and seniors.) 30 percent are black/ Hispanic, 7% are Asian, 62% are white and 8.6% of the kids on free lunch. Our home school (where oldest attended) is larger now-- 2,087 kids and 27% with a 3.5 unweighted or above, 899 students took 1,826 plus 243 juniors and seniors took 700 IB exams. 35% of the kids are black/ Hispanic, 25% are Asian, 39% are non-H white and 8% on free/reduced price lunch. Our homeschool's IB program is a magnet but local kids can petition to take classes. The school hosts not just the IB program but a special ed self-contained program which is reflected in those numbers. The school my other 2 kids attend contains no 'special' program; all area kids can take IB or AP classes.

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