Education today is moving in the direction of the ‘do over’ or ‘delayed penalty’ system. What I mean by that is when your child has the ability to improve their grades by doing work a 2nd time or having extended opportunities. Examples of this include turning in work late, taking tests over, taking tests home to make corrections, etc. How successful they look in school may be masked.
What happens when these types of systems are automatically put into place is that your child appears to be more successful than their current performance is indicating. While this may feel positive and supportive it becomes a concern if your child is truly struggling.
As I have said many times, in order for your child to receive support through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or be given accommodations as provided in a 504 they must present as having a need in the school setting.
However, it is important for you to understand that the school is not required to even begin support prior to evaluation if the need is not upfront and measurable (ie. grades).
Work that is assigned to the whole class with an expected due date for completion is what you need your child evaluated on. It sometimes feels like a ‘win’ to have a failing grade, based on your child’s performance, raised to a passing grade when late work is accepted and given equal or almost equal credit.
If the late work is a once and done occurrence - illness, travel, just forgot, etc. - it is a win. However, if it becomes the way school is happening for your child, it is masking the need.
If you believe your child’s grades are inflated due to a ‘do over’ or ‘late penalty’ system you need to ask to have your child’s grades computed based on what they would have received if they were not allowed to redo, retest, resubmit. NOTE: If this is the way grades are computed for everyone that is fine. You are asking that your child’s performance is looked at based on what they are actually doing. The report card should reflect the school’s policy.
I realize this may sound harsh or scary, yet in reality, it is the only way to make a case for the need of support. Looking successful is not the same as being successful. Do not mistake one for the other.
If your child is struggling with learning, the only way to effectively address this is through changing instruction and creating timely goals. Inflating grades to make it look as if learning has taken place is not in your child’s best interest. Make sure what is happening for your child is in their best interest.
If you’re not sure what is happening or if you are concerned that this is happening, please reach out today.