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PJ Should Do This.

 — Tar Heels in search of the easy A, beware. Starting this fall, UNC-Chapel Hill transcripts will provide a little truth in grading.
From now on, transcripts for university graduates will contain a healthy dose of context.
Next to a student’s grade, the record will include the median grade of classmates, the percentile range and the number of students in the class section. Another new measure, alongside the grade point average, is the schedule point average. A snapshot average grade for a student’s mix of courses, the SPA is akin to a sports team’s strength of schedule.
The nuanced transcripts will provide more information for graduate schools and employers, who should be better able to judge the difference between good and excellent performance. An A- in psychology might not look so swell when the average grade in the class is an A. On the other hand, an A- in physics looks downright impressive if the class average is a C+.
The new contextual transcript is the university’s response to grade inflation – the long-term trend of rising grades that began in the 1960s and accelerated in the 1980s.
Grade inflation has been well documented nationally, most recently in a 2012 study published in Teachers College Record, an academic journal at Columbia University. Researchers collected grade data for 135 U.S. colleges and universities, representing 1.5 million students. They found that A’s are now the most commonly awarded grade – 43 percent of all grades. Failure is almost unheard of, with D’s and F’s making up less than 10 percent of all college grades.
The study found that grade inflation has been most pronounced at elite private universities, trailed by public flagship campuses and then less selective schools. Grading tends to be higher in humanities courses, followed by social sciences. The lowest grades tend to occur in the science, math and engineering disciplines.
Andrew Perrin, a sociology professor at UNC-CH, said the system provides a perverse incentive for students to seek courses not because of intellectual interests or career aspirations, but to pad their GPAs. Popular sites such as Rate My Professors include a measure of “easiness” for each faculty member.
Anything less than an A is unacceptable for some students.
“Elite universities, both elite state universities like ours or elite private universities, face a particular challenge, which is that everybody here is used to being the best,” Perrin said. “And in many cases, they’re used to complaining if they’re not the best.”
Challenge the students
Perrin has long been involved in UNC-CH’s debate about grade inflation and helped push for the transcript policy.
While some argue that students today are smarter than they used to be, national surveys show that college students spend fewer hours studying and pursuing academics.
“I think our responsibility is to push them as far as they can be pushed,” Perrin said. “If they’re that much better, then we ought to be raising the bar, not saying, ‘Well, they’re so much better than they were in 1970, so let’s give them all A’s.’ ”
Student views are mixed on the new transcripts. In interviews last week, most were unaware of the change.
“If you graduate from here and aren’t going to graduate school, who’s going to see your transcript?” asked Sean Peterson, a sophomore from Hebron, CT.
Alex Kacvinsky, a sophomore pre-med student from Cary, approves of the new transcripts. Last semester, he made a B+ in a biology class, which would look even better next to the class average, which was a C-.
“I personally would like it if my transcript had more context,” Kacvinsky said.
But Will Weidman, a senior from Charlotte, sees a downside. He said the new system could add to the competitive climate on campus.
“It’s going to add more stress to people’s lives,” he said. “People here are already stressed out.”
Few schools try
There has been no organized student opposition to the new transcripts. In the past, though, students have fought efforts to shift grading policies.
In 2007, the Faculty Council narrowly defeated a proposal for an “Achievement Index,” a statistical measure that would have taken into account course difficulty and grading variations. Student government opposed the plan, and 800 students signed a petition against it.
Still, there was a growing consensus that something needed to be done. A 2009 study showed that the average grade at UNC-CH had climbed to a 3.2 in 2008, and 82 percent of all grades were A’s and B’s. Researchers also noted that there was systematic grade inequality among different departments and instructors.
By 2010, the Faculty Council agreed that a contextual transcript was a reasonable approach. The details of the policy were approved in 2011, but implementation was delayed while university administrators made sure they had the right measures and software to carry out the project.
As part of the plan, professors are given access to internal reports that reveal their own grading history compared to others in their department and across the university.
That alone could change grading habits, said Perrin, whose average grade given is a B-.
However, he added, “My biggest worry about this policy is that it doesn’t go far enough, that it’s not going to be good enough to actually make a dent in the problem that we face.”
UNC-CH will be among a small group of U.S. universities that offer context to students’ grades.
Indiana University used to do it, but stopped because of a software change. Dartmouth College and Cornell University include median grades on transcripts. Cornell used to publish the information online, but quit in 2011 after a study revealed that enrollment spiked in classes with a median grade of A.
But there is a larger move to transcripts with broader information about students’ learning outcomes, said Brad Myers, Ohio State University registrar and president of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
“We’re really trying to say, ‘Here’s what the student has mastered, and isn’t that what you’re after, more than whether the student got a B or a C or a D in this class?’ ”
Princeton University made headlines for a 2004 policy that sought to limit A’s to 35 percent in undergraduate courses – seen as a radical approach to regulate grades. Earlier this month, a faculty committee there recommended dropping the policy, saying it was too stressful for students and was misinterpreted as a quota system.
The Princeton policy worked, said Stuart Rojstaczer, a former Duke University professor who for years has analyzed grade inflation nationally. It was rare in an era when students are treated as customers – high-paying customers.
Rojstaczer, who remembers a student sobbing in his office over a B-, said UNC-CH’s new transcript probably won’t stem the upward creep of grades.
“It’s a soft response to a problem,” Rojstaczer said, “but it’s probably as good as you can expect in the current academic environment.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/30/4106626_at-unc-chapel-hill-the-truth-about.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

GUIDANCE the latest news of the day!

Once again, a future is destroyed, hopes are smashed and long held dreams are dead.  It is disgusting how this school lets this guidance department get away with this time and time again.

A kid works hard, does everything right and to the best of her ability and it all ends because PJHS guidance department screwed up (AGAIN!)

It is nothing short of sabotage (deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct something).  My heart breaks for this kid (and ALL the others).

Presentation of school report card

Anyone catch Ms Hull's presentation on the school report card?  The entire presentation was 10 pages and she used only 4 pages to show the district's numbers.
She spent only 4 pages on a summary of the results.  Just results. 
No conclusions. 
No rational for success or failure.
No identification of problems.  
No explanation of improvements being made.  
No lessons learned.  
No recommendations for professional development.
No identification of areas where the district is strong.
NO nothing!

Just a pat on her own back that Port Jefferson scored a little better when compared to JUST the Suffolk county average.  

SUNY campuses use 85% on regents exams as a mark of solid competence and below 75% as a mark of inadequately prepared.  Where is that data?  No information on the % of our students who obtained mastery (85% or above).  Just the number who passed 65%.

Why not aspire to be a top school in New York state?  


Dear Parent or Guardian,
We hope you have been enjoying the summer recess. We are contacting you to let you know schedules for the upcoming school year have been made prematurely accessible in the PowerSchool mobile application. The administration is currently engaged in reviewing schedules to ensure good class balance and that all students are enrolled in the appropriate courses and support services. The viewable schedules should be disregarded as they are in draft form.
Parents/Students will receive hard copy, final schedules for the High School via U.S. mail by August 8th.  Middle School schedules will be sent home the week of August 11th.  The mailing will include days/times our guidance counselors will be available to address any questions or concerns that may arise. In addition, parents will also be able to access the correct finalized schedule via the PowerSchool portal at that time.
We are sorry for any inconvenience that may have been caused by the PowerSchool application. We look forward to seeing all of our students back to school in September, eager to learn and engage in positive learning experiences. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the main office at your convenience.
Dr. Murphy, Mr. Santana, and Mrs. Austen

What the heck is going on in the MS?

News flash for you Mr Santana!  One of your many jobs is to get into classroom and find out if our teachers are teaching.  Do you know that?  How are you making teachers more accountable?

Colleges are increasingly searching for applicants' names on the Internet

Could all those selfies sink your Harvard dreams? The college application process is stressful enough; now parents also have to worry about managing their teenagers' online reputation.

Colleges are increasingly searching for applicants' names on the Internet as part of their review, according to new research from Kaplan Test Prep in which 30 percent of admissions officers say that they had Googled an applicant or visited their social networking profiles. It’s a significant increase from previous years, according to Seppy Basili, a college admissions expert at Kaplan.

However, nearly 50 percent of high school respondents said they were “not at all concerned” about online searches hurting their chances of admissions.

“There may be a generation gap here,” said Basili. “Students already expect that everything they are posting is public, while adults are still playing catch up with social media.”

With college looming on the horizon, 16-year-old Amanda Mauriello of Branford, Conn., describes her own social media presence as being “in the right state of mind” and said she never posts anything on sites like Facebook, Instagram or Vine that she wouldn’t want anyone to see down the road.

Since most applications are now submitted online, it’s easy for a reader to open a new tab while reviewing a student’s essay and do a background check simultaneously, said Debbie Kanter, an independent college consultant at North Shore College Consulting in Chicago.

The problem is, nobody really knows what happens behind closed doors, and colleges are tightlipped about how heavily they weigh online information. Often, school admissions offices don't have uniform policies for how to do so, leading to the potential for inconsistent treatment among applicants, the New York Times reports.

For 15 years, Lacy Crawford, author of Early Decision, helped teenagers hone their personal statements. And while she appreciates an admissions officer’s desire to add some online research, she cautions schools to do their due diligence and call a student’s guidance counselor if they find something particularly egregious — especially in a world where students can create fake social media accounts for their peers.

Mark Sklarow, CEO of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, a national organization of private college admissions advisers, tells teens to review their postings and profiles with a critical eye. For example, Sklarow would ask student: “Do comments make you sound like a misogynist? A bully? Do hundreds and hundreds of ‘selfies’ convey narcissism?”

Some parents have been warning kids that colleges might be researching online long before schools and college counselors started talking more openly about it.

Moll Levine, a Washington, D.C., college senior, said her parents warned her in high school to be careful about what she posted online, “because once it’s there, it’s permanent.” It's a sentiment she’s taken to heart years later as she searches for a post-graduation internship or job.

Some parents even hire an expert to assess their child’s exposure before they submit any applications.

“First, we do a deep dive audit for parents,” said Michael Fertik, founder and CEO of Reputation.com, an online reputation management firm in Redwood City, Calif., “so we can show you all the data that tends to be findable on your child — pictures, threads, things that they’ve liked on Facebook.”

But technology isn’t a substitute for engaged parenting online, he said.

“Adults need to be connected to their kids on social media so they know if there is any outside-of-the-envelope conduct,” Fertik said. “But they also shouldn’t be over-interacting with their child on Snapchat and scaring their teen away into making a fake account, either.”

The Kaplan data on colleges' online research of teens may have a positive side. As Basili points out, applicants these days have incredibly rich resumes.

“They’ve built schools in Ecuador and created environmental programs in their own home towns,” he said. “If you’ve started a new club or you are a member of a board, it feels very human and natural for an admissions officer to want to read more about those experiences online or to Google something in a student’s essay.”

Jacoba Urist is a health and lifestyle reporter in NYC. Follow her on Twitter @JacobaUrist