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Monday, September 08, 2008

That damned Latin

What's Mallard raving about today?

Grading Curves.

I apologize profusely, for yesterday's post. Mallard's failure to achieve the grades he felt he deserved was not exclusively the fault of his teachers. The grading curve was also at fault.

I will further amend this tomorrow, when Mallard adds something else to the Great List of Blame.

17 comments:

luke said...

And he still got D-minuses? On a curve?

This is just getting too fucking surreal. The newspapers claim this is an example of right-wing political humor and it consists of a middle-aged alcoholic nutjob pouring his heart out about the bad experiences he had in elementary school. I mean, is he okay? Should we do something? Should we call the police?

Anonymous said...

Depends on the kind of curve too. In a college class I was in the professor said we would be on a strict curve. There were 20 students, He said that only 1 of us would get A's, 3 Bs, 5 C's 7 D's and there was an unlimited number of F's, what we ended up with was 85% being a C. That tended to create a fairly frantic competition since grades themselves were limited, it sadly also led to people trying to sabotage one another. A rather Machiavellian class.

dlauthor said...

I think Tinshley would have liked that class, anonymous. Until he got one of the F's, of course.

rewinn said...

"Carved in Latin"?

How would Ducky know that's what it said, unless his school taught Latin, and well enough for students to read it (despite scoring only a D-minus)?

===

And props, luke, on noting Ducky got a d-minus despite the curve. He was just about at the bottom in school, as he is on the comics page.

factinista said...

So if he got D-minuses on the curve, why is he complaining? Wouldn't that have improved his grade?

factinista said...

Not to mention the rant about "rewarding mediocrity." We reward mediocrity every day by allowing Mallard to appear in the comics page.

Kaitlyn said...

I'm sorry, but I have never understood the concept of grading on a curve.

Somebody help me.

Thankfully, I haven't run into the practice in college yet. I'm glad.

A few times on tests, the highest score above a certain point (if nobody aced it) automatically got a 100, and everyone else got the number of points between the original grade and the 100.

And then on a state test, I didn't get everything right, but I got the most right, so the grade for that class was a 100.

Kaitlyn said...

If what anon said is typical of grading on the curve, why do teachers do it?

factinista said...

It's really not. Generally, curving a grade means building the grading system around the average score for the class, which is given a C. So above average is an A or B, and below is a D or F.

Anonymous said...

I am puzzled/amused by Mallard's asperity about "rewarding mediocrity and punishing excellence" when he was apparently, by his own admission and by ANY grading standard, decidedly sub-mediocre.

Michael said...

At my high school, which didn't use a curving system, just showing up and breathing would get you at least a C. Public high schools do underserve the advanced students, but it's not because of grade curving.

The physics classes at my university were a different story. The tests were so notoriously difficult that their average was typically around 50% - I once got a 35% and passed. If that class didn't use a curve, the vast majority of students would have failed. That type of situation is what the curve is meant for.

Though I know they exist, I've never taken a class that used a "quota" system, which has to fail a certain percentage of students. The only ones I've seen set an average "C" score, and a deviation that determined the grades. My ex was in a pretty good law school that had some classes like anonymous mentioned - I can only imagine how horribly Machiavellian it was with a class full of potential lawyers.

By the way, this "D-minus after the curve" series has to be the frontrunner for the 2008 Most Interminable Series Golden Ellipse. I can't believe how long he's able to rant about how much he hates teachers. Teachers! Maybe next we'll have a week long series about how bastardly those volunteer firemen are.

exanonymous said...

Physics tests were true tests. They demanded everything. You sweat and you worked hard to put down as much as you could in as little time as you had. You walked out with only a third done and it was a major victory.

I'm sure it's a pansy-liberal saying along the lines of "it's not about winning, it's about how you play the game". But it applies. It's not about getting 93% right memorized from little sheets. It's about pushing yourself to see exactly how far you can go.

Scanman said...

What the hell are the TV viewers of Mallard's show supposed to think watching a duck lost in thought staring back at them a la panel 2?

Scanman said...

What the hell are the TV viewers of Mallard's show supposed to think watching a duck lost in thought staring back at them a la panel 2?

Marion Delgado said...

Well, they not only graded on a curve but made them learn Latin.

I mean hard terms like et cetera.

Michael said...

Good observation, scanman. That broadcast goes from "snarky" to "awkward/sad" in record time.

MartyRotten said...

His school taught Latin and Shakespeare? (see yesterday's post) Wow! What an intellectually stimulating school he must have gone to. Maybe if he'd spent less time drinking booze behind the gym and more time studying his Hamlet and Classical Scholars he wouldn't be the bitter old failure that he is now. (I would love to have seen some of the term papers discussing the comparitive (sp?) merits of Virgil, SHakespeare, Homer and Lennon/McCartney.