Lexington One parents upset over new curriculum
Thu, 10 Oct 2013 20:40:14 GMT — LEXINGTON COUNTY (WACH) -- It's one of the most well respected school districts in the state. Lexington School District One is making some major changes in how students learn.
A new program called "Grading For Learning" focuses on the test scores of middle schoolers and high school students, instead of homework, class participation and extra credit.
That change is not sitting well with some parents.
"They have homework that is not necessarily counted, quizzes that is not necessarily counted and the only thing that is counted towards their grade is a test." says Dawn Hyatt, concerned parent.
"It's really confusing for the children they're changing what things are called, they're no longer tests they're assessments." says Amber Bland.
She argues Grading for Learning isn't helping students and grades are dropping.
Bland says students are getting into a cycle of repeating curriculum and retaking tests.
"This is taking any deadline and accountability away from our children." says Amy Cofield, a concerned parent.
"Today is not yesterday, tomorrow is not today, times are really changing." says Dr. Anne Elam, academic office for innovation for Lexington One.
She says grading for learning uses two types of assessments.
First students learn new information. Teachers will assign homework, give quizzes and practice assignments, but none of this work factors into their grade.
Once the student masters the new material they're tested on it, if they don't score well the first time, high schoolers get another crack at it.
"It's now time to really look and make sure that were counting the things that measure proficiency in learning and that we're giving feedback to kids when it's appropriate, so homework to me is practice." says Elam.
"Our children are very smart, they want to learn and if test scores are going down it's not because the children have changed it's because the curriculum has changed." says Bland.
Parents have taken their battle to social media, creating an "End Grading for Learning" Facebook page, and they plan on picketing Tuesday's school board meeting to make sure their voices are heard by administrators.