Math 11 marks adjusted upward

New Westminster school district has adjusted the marks of students in Fundamentals of Math 11 classes at New Westminster secondary, following a complaint from a group of parents about a teacher.

In addition, for current semester, which started Jan. 30, the teacher was reassigned to grade 9 and 10 classes.

Parent Lisa Chao said the district has just stuck a Band-Aid on the problem without addressing it.
“This whole situation is just a ridiculous mess,” said Chao, whose daughter had her mark raised 15 per cent to 90.

“It’s very bizarre. It seems more like damage control ... The district should be looking at how this situation came to be, what the cause was, and making sure a situation like this doesn’t happen again. I believe this has happened because there wasn’t people doing their due diligence starting from the beginning.”

She and other parents had complained that up to 70 per cent of the children in the three classes taught by the teacher were failing.

They said the teacher’s marking didn’t give students partial credit and did not help the students in the learning process.

Chao said most of the marks have risen “magically” by about 15 per cent. She claims to know of one boy who had his go up 18 per cent. Parents have been told by district director of instruction Sandra Pace that she adjusted the marks based on students’ performance in previous years as well as in the other courses they took during the semester.

Kal Randhawa’s daughter changed from taking the course to auditing it when her initial mark during the semester was 58 per cent.

Now the district is giving her the option to take the final exam.

“In one way I’m sort of glad they’re doing something. I have mixed feelings about it,” said Randhawa.

“I’m glad they are taking our situation seriously and they’re addressing part of the problem. Our issue was not with the course itself, and that seems to be the route they’re taking right now. I’m hoping they’re going to get to the root of the problem which is ineffective teaching. It’s unfortunate it took so long. They could have intervened back in October and avoided doing this which is taking drastic steps.”

Board of education chair James Janzen refused to comment on the moves made by district staff.
Superintendent John Woudzia would only say the district has been in communication with the parents of the Fundamentals of Math 11 students.

“We’re not in a position to discuss the details,” said Woudzia.

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