Q&A #356

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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