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Middle Georgia Technical College: Correct Your Inaccurate Grading Policy

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During the January through May semester and for several previous semesters, Middle Georgia Technical College has employed a standardized grading policy for several BUSN classes that is mathematically incorrect. This policy was not made by experts, the numbers have no logical basis, and the system in and of itself is flawed. I can prove that students are receiving lower grades than they have earned. I have contacted a world renowned education consultant who testified that this grading policy is "terrible and breaks all principles of quality assessment." His field of expertise... grading. You will find more detailed information on the policy's inaccuracies below.

Thus far (3/13/2013) I have met with every level of supervisor at Middle Georgia Technical College. This is to include the Department Chair (Michelle Boone), Division Chair (Lynn Whiddon), Dean of education (DeAnne Nester), and the HR Director of Student Affairs (Linda Hampton). All could be said to have agreed the policy is flawed and has no logical basis; however, they showed hesitance to change the policy because of the embarrassment to the school as well as the difficulty of changing a policy mid-semester. They have already stated this policy will be done away with completely for the upcoming semester. How does this serve justice to the current students? I had a 4.0 upon entering MGTC but thank to this class and the inaccurate measurement of my achievement I will lose that perfect GPA. Sign this petition to say it is NOT OK to allow the current students to suffer simply because that's the easier option. It is unethical and devalues teachers, schools, and the education system as a whole. My mother is an wonderful educator with a specialist degree (currently on sabbatical looking into her PhD). The actions of this school bring shame to her profession.

Grading expert Ken O'Connor has gone on the record on his own website to expose the school's inability to measure student achievement. He states that the policy is "terrible" and "absurd" and even suggests I contact a lawyer should the school not correct their error. He clearly feels passionately about their mistakes when he calls the school "gutless" for refusing to change the policy. He has dedicated the past few decades of his professional career writing text books and articles to help teachers understand the dos and don'ts of grading. Grades should be about your knowledge and skills, nothing more, he believes. Don't you agree?

As of now the grading policy is printed in the syllabus of several BUSN classes this semester and has been used for many past semesters. Some teachers have chosen not to use this policy even though it is the standard for document production type classes such as Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, etc. Maybe these teachers saw the flaws in it too. Under this policy there is a set point value to be deducted per mistake. Meaning even if you do 10 things correct worth 10pts each while doing 10 things incorrect worth 10pts each, you receive a zero. How is this logical? You correctly achieved half of the available objectives. Of 20 "parts, tasks, objectives, etc." you correctly did 50% while incorrectly doing 50%. Thus resulting in a percentage of 50% achievement. The policy at hand is not based on achievement. Simply put it has no logical numerical or percentile basis. Lazy teachers pick 5pts here 10pts here simply because they are nice round numbers - but they have no logical basis. If an assessment is only worth 100pts how can you have a potential of loosing 200pts? Theoretically you could receive a NEGATIVE 100.

As you can see this policy not only causes students to receive lower grades than they have earned but also to potentially fail even! What happens when a student fails a class? Sometimes they must repay their financial aid organization out of pocket. Often times the student retakes the class - paying a second time for tuition, fees, and books if they have changed. Middle Georgia Technical College knows they are wrong or they would not be changing over to a new policy this upcoming semester that is nothing like the current one. Currently they are in the process of a merger with Central Georgia Technical College. During a meeting with students from both schools only the ones from MGTC had anything to say about what needs to change. I strongly urge Central Georgia Technical College to consider the baggage it is about to bring on board by merging with Middle Georgia Technical College.

By signing this petition you are stating:
- I agree the grading policy being used is unfair and results in grades that do not accurately reflect student achievement
- Although Middle Georgia Tech has plans to change this policy it should be done immediately and retroactively
- I believe a committee needs to be formed to investigate students' grades in previous semesters to ensure that any grades given out under this policy are corrected

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