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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Curving test scores

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From: Julie Archer

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003052716:46:33
Subject: curving test scores

My school has a policy that every teacher should be teaching the very
same thing, giving the very same homework, and giving the exact same
quizzes and tests.  I don't always agree with this, but it is
something I have learned to accept.  Because of the same quizzes and
tests, there usually seems to be some discrepancy around specific
topics.  I may have spent more time on one topic than another teacher
or vice versa.  When this happens there seems to be a reason to curve.
Why should I grade my kids down when it is something I barely covered?
We usually try to find the ‘happy’ median.  We will either throw out
specific questions or count some questions as more points.  This would
be what we consider curving the tests.  It always helps the kids and
it also helps us see what we are concentrating too much on and what we
should be concentrating more on.  
	I am beginning to like the whole curving idea even though when I was
younger I thought it was useless for a teacher to do it.  Now I see
why and understand that it can only help the students.  I think
curving is good as long as you let you students know why you are
curving instead of just doing it.

Julie Archer

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