Monday, December 15, 2008

The 75% Teaching Solution

American initiative and productivity are the envy of the world. Whenever Americans have been faced with difficult times, whether it be in war, business or charity, it always seems as though Americans overcome obstacles through a unique blend of creative problem solving and hard work.

So, why can’t education be any different?

With American productivity and initiative in mind, the Adam Smith Academy would like to propose the 75% Teaching Solution. It works like this:

1. In the creation of student curriculum, Teachers teach 75% of a student’s total course grade. On a straight PASS/FAIL grading system (80% equals a Passing grade, anything below Fails), students are tested on the standard, or minimum 75% of the course’s curriculum. Should the student PASS all the exams for 75% of the coursework, they shall receive a grade of “C”. They have done the minimum, satisfactorily.

2. Should they FAIL certain exams or portions of the curriculum, the student would then fall within the range of “F” to “C” for the course.

3. For a student to obtain a better grade than the satisfactory, “C”, he/she voluntarily does more coursework on his or her own, and will PASS/FAIL any exams based on the additional coursework. So much more for a “B”, and even more for an “A”. Therefore, they must take the initiative to produce more.

This solution gives whole new meaning to the words, “Extra Credit.” Or, in actuality, it takes these words on their face. To do beyond the satisfactory level, students do “extra” and receive a better “credit.”

This solution also taps into and encourages American productivity. It provides students with a valuable understanding of what will be expected of them when they leave school. It’s a life lesson. Doing the minimum only gets you so far. Doing more than expected creates an opportunity for greater rewards. And, even students that may not have the highest IQs, or innate mental ability, are rewarded for their determination and hard work. Just like in life, they can out-work their intellectual superiors.

1 comment:

mazenko said...

Fascinating idea. After just finishing a class review of exemplar papers in my AP Language class, I ran across this piece. It reminded me how I regularly note to students and parents exactly what my concept of an A is. Being right 9 times out of 10 is truly "outstanding," and that's why an A is what it is.