Stupid motherfucking school grade viewing systems!

My school uses Edline software to have a database for the students and parents to view grades at any point in time. This is both a good and a bad thing for perfectly good reasons. The teachers are supposed to put in grades as they are calculated on a weekly basis, but occasionally they screw up using the software. This little problem has caused a friend of mine her privelege to go to the Homecoming dance that she was looking forward to go to and had planned for within the past three months. As part of an agreement, she gives up an entire day every weekend studying in addition to the 4+ hours she studies per night. The parents want her to get all Bs or better by the end of first trimester. Everything seems to be going well; one of her teachers even calls up her parents to tell her that she’s doing really well in the class and got a very good grade on the last test she took… then Edline software kicked in and all the access codes were sent out to parents. A grade for a previous test was entered incorrectly, giving her a total grade of an F, as opposed to the B+ that the teacher has recorded in her books. Her parents check Edline, and discover this. All of a sudden when she gets home, she’s informed that she’s not allowed any type of social life until her grade improves, which includes the dance she had been planning for over many weeks. Hopefully my friend will actually go to the teacher and have the teacher send an email and have the grades on Edline corrected…
Right now I’m just really pissed off at the fact that her parents are keeping her on such a short leash. [She’s got way too many restrictions that have been put on her recently for no apparent reason; she hasn’t gotten into any trouble and a friend who was causing her grief left for college a while ago.] I just want her to be able to go to Homecoming with me and the rest of our friends; it wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun without her, plus she’s my best friend: I can’t stand to see her upset.

Oh, I forgot something: she calls me up and tells me this while sobbing the whole time… goddamned parents. If you want to make sure your kid has good grades, using a noose as a leash and then tightening it doesn’t work too well.


I understand most teenagers think that they don’t deserve anything their parents do for them. Sometimes they’re right but most of the time I don’t think they are.

What’s the big deal? If she isn’t making bad grades I’m sure the teacher would be more then happy to write her parents a note or give them a call.


The problem is that you are dealing with teenagers; When dealing with teenagers there is one Golden Rule make sure you know of what you talk, cause otherwise your just asking for trouble. This goes double when trying to enforce rules.
They already believe they are always hard done by, and in the right, it doesn’t help if they are correct in these assumptions.

Single no children, but has worked as a college guidance counsellor

*Originally posted by MGibson *

The parents will most likely stick by their ruling of not letting her go even if the situation is rectified. They’re like that; they won’t go back on a punishment for any reason whatsoever.


well, when is your school’s homecoming?

i can feel that shit, but maybe you guys can do what i did, when i forgot to buy tickets;

just load up half-life and counterstrike, and spend the evening playing the “Antisocial Bastard” thing to the hilt. that’s how i spent my saturday evening…

oh well. i hope you guys get to go, you don’t seem to be as well suited for the “geeky antisocial bastard” position as i am…

I’m with ya man. Those systems suck. I saw the news one day and every single class has to log you on the computer for attendance. Parents can look in and see if you’re 5 minutes late for history or if you skipped home economics. I can already hear all the arguments that will fly my way for this, but when has that stopped me . . .

I have a problem with these computer-monitoring systems being installed in schools for two reasons. They are as follows:

A. Part of High School is becoming an adult.

B. I think it is part of a larger “big brother” problem that we face very urgently these days

To elborate on point A:

High School is a time when you are learning not only the fundamentals of science, language, math, computers, arts, and all the rest of the curriculum. It is also a time and place to learn the fundamentals of interacting with people. It is a time when you begin to establish an identity for yourself, when you find friends, when you learn how communication and interaction really work.

Part of making all that work is a sense of independence and individuality. Being able to relate with some friends, and then sneak off for study hall to the nearest MacDonalds and get back before Chemistry, well that stuff was just great. Friendships and bonds were made that I still have today 7 years after I graduated. I got to choose what risks I took and how exactly I wanted to work within the structure. If you went to far, parents were contacted, but there was some room in there.

I was able to parlay my involvement in school plays (acting in them as well as building the sets) into a wonderful excuse to get out of classes. I learned much about what I truly enjoy. Which is speaking with people. Interacting, discussing, laughing, and relating to each other. The friends I’ve made are more important to me than anything I ever learned in a book. Had I been under the authority of a computer monitoring system that my dad could check into things would have been differenet I guarantee.

But I love those memories, and I love the choices I’ve made and the life it’s brought me. I think to monitor these kids 24 hours a day narrows their chance at some great experiences that used to be a part of growing up. It makes them feel trapped and watched, like an animal. Not respected and given room, like a human.

To elaborate on point B:

In this time after we have been attacked as a nation, and are seemingly caught sleeping at the wheel, there is much discussion of limiting peoples rights. To people who fear the “enemy” this is welcome. To people who fear “Big Brother” this is a fresh hell.

The whole thing gets to sounding real 1984-ish real quick. For some reason the idea of living in a nation where they monitor the children 24 hours a day, demand “Let me see your papers”, listen to every phone call, want to know where you’re traveling to, know your spending habits, know your debt, know your race, fingerprint, genetic makeup and your job as well as your home, is a little disgusting. That’s an awful lot of knowledge for a free man to have to give out.

It IS important to make this country safer in the light of the evil that truly lurks in the world, but I think we have to be very careful when it comes to giving up rights. People have fought long and hard for these rights. And while the government and especially the police are definately in “Hero” mode right now, and I hold them in high regard and wish them well. . . I live in New York. I have not forgotten how fucked up those in power can be. I have not forgotten about plungers and massacre’s of unarmed men. I have seen how power can be abused. I have seen it time and again, and so I hold my rights dear. I will not give up power over myself easily, for I do not trust power in anyones hands, really. Power corrupts.

But these kids got no power. No say in the matter. A computer monitors them and their parents talk to the computers. Are these kids more likely to grow up hating the technology or getting used to it? I don’t like the idea of a generation growing up with little expectation of privacy. They will eventually be the lawmakers.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I get flamed for this, I mean I just tied in police abuse and abuses of political and legal power to a complaint that a kid couldn’t go to a Homecoming dance ‘cause her grade got mixed up on a computer. But I’m not kiddin’ this time, so have at it . . .

DaLovin’ Dj

Good for them! The problem with the world today is that too many parents base their discipline on reason and justice, thus denying their children the important lesson that our lives are governed by cruel and unreasoning chance. I hope they reinforce this lesson by throwing pebbles at her while she is not looking.


That’s really strange. As far as public education goes I think I started all of the above in kindergarten. Maybe your state was different though.


I’m sure many teenagers think things like that are great. I know I did when I was a freshman. I outgrew though.


I sure hope those friendships and bonds are based on something more then skipping class or sneaking around to McDonalds.


I’m sure teenagers can still take some risks as to how exactly they want to work within the structure. Its just possible that the structure is no longer the way they want it to be.


And this has what to do with a computer monitoring system? If you were excused from class then they wouldn’t list you as being absent.


How? WOuld you not have made any friends or been able to participate in school plays?


Who’s talking about 24 hour monitoring? All the system is suppose to do is tell how kids are doing in school and if they’re showing up to class. That’s hardly a horrible thing.


Well I’ve got news for you. School across the nation already monitor the activities of children while they are on school grounds. That’s actually part of their job. They take roll and they keep parents informed as to the progress of their child. So what’s the big deal with a computer system so parents can have better access to information about their child?

Young people often make stupid arguements and blow things out of proportion. Don’t worry you’ll outgrow it.


It’s a relative issue. Compared to what they teach in college, high school curriculum is basic. Compared to kindergarten it’s advanced. It’s a nitpick and a smug one at that. Let the flames begin . . .

Well for me it really started when I got a car at 16. But I’m guessing this comment is less a diiscussion of the age when mischief prevailed, and more a dig on my maturity as percieved by you. Continue the flame, fuckwad . . .

No, they’re based on conversations we had and emotions we shared while doing those as well as other things. All part of the grand adventure of growing up. Yet another dig, you’re feeling feisty aren’t you there, fruity?

A risk where you’re guaranteed to get caught is no risk at all . . .

The problem is I would be fishing instead. Dad would have figured it out real quick. The teachers did not check on me after a while. They just assumed it to be true. Worked like a charm. Dad is a little wiser in the ways of the young.

No, my dad would have figured out I wasn’t in class and busted my ass.

Combine it with a cell and a pager, plus a GPS tracking device in your shoes or clothes (as has been discussed and is possible in the near future) you’ve got total monitoring capability. So you agree 24 hour monitoring WOULD be a negative thing?

I believe I stated one reason which I labeled A, and another which I labeled B. Both of which I could correctly refer to as “the big deal”.

And for your final dig another assault on my maturity and the implied “when you’re my age you’ll see what a fool you were”.

ehh. Flame wise I give you a C. Average, with nothing original. But I still feel obligated to reply with a nice:

Fuck you, wise-ass.

Good day.

DaLovin’ Dj


You’re the one who brought up the sneaking to McDonalds as being an important contriubtion to the bonds you’ve formed in high school. How important was sneaking around to those bonds? Sure my friends and I did a bunch of stupid stuff growing up. But I can’t say that skipping school was ever a source of great bonding.


Either your teachers were naive or they didn’t want you in their class. I don’t know of many school disctricts without policies regarding when students may be excused from class and for what reasons.


I don’t see why you wouldn’t have been able to participate in school plays. At my school the drama kids worked on things either before school, during lunch, during drama class, or after school. Why would you have not been able to participate in drama without skipping classes?


For most kids 24 hour monitoring would be unreasonable. If a kid did things that demonstrated they could not be trusted then 24 hour monitoring system might be reasonable.


Nah, you’re not a fool. But you’re making a stupid arguement. What you’re essentially bitching about is that it is harder for kids to get away with skippings class. And you’re reasoning is that skipping class provides a way for kids to participate in extra curricular acitivities, go to McDonalds, and bond with their friends. Yeah, how could I question your maturity?


I bet’cha if we had a computer monitoring system in place I would have gotten a higher grade. But at least we had this opportunity to bond.


i thought the only classes Dalovindj mentioned skipping were the ones that didn’t really count on your grade, Ex. study hall. not skipping important classes.

i mean, he still absorbs the knowledge, but he also learns to be his own person, and to make his own balancing decisions.

i don’t have any classes that are devalued at my school, but i do skip on lunch.
some of my best times so far this year have been when me and some of my friends are wandering the halls at random, holding a philosophic discussion which we wouldn’t have been able to hold in the lunchroom, surrounded by screaming idiots.

I tend to try to be polite to everyone on-line, even in the Pit. But I’m tired of it. I can appreciate the arguments here, but I swear the majority of you guys merely play on samantics. You pick at any little thing the other says to attempt to validate yourselves wether it has anything to do with the essence of the argument.

I’m a big fan of personal privacy, doing what you want and the government leaving people alone. I agree with the essence of the DJs argument, because quite frankly, anything that limits my freedoms pisses me off.

If I want people knowing things about me, I’ll tell them. Otherwise it’s none of their damn business.

Maybe I have a different perspective because of my wierd family; my parents never told me anything about what they did, so I had no intention of telling them about myself. Back in High School, I would go for weeks without so much as seeing them, let alone having a conversation.

You know what? I can actually talk to them like they’re people now. Back then I couldn’t stand them.

Adolescence is a difficult time, and we have always done fine without Big Brother keeping his baleful gaze on us.


Mirrored Indigo Shadows, my advice to you is to just be a good friend. You have no control over what her parents do, just stand by her and hang with her even though her parents are somewhat draconian.

I had a similiar situation in high school. My best friend’s mother was nuts. My friend, M, would get in trouble if we were at the library studying and she got home 5 minutes after she was supposed to be home. Her curfew was ridiculous for a high school student - I’m talking like 7pm. I think part of it was her mother never approved of me. I was a bit of a partyer in high school, but never anything dangerous or even bad - I was a typical high school student. Ironic, as I’m the one who turned out to be the model citizen, good job, make lots o’ money, etc.

M, on the other hand, was expected to be an adult from the time she was born. She was constantly babysitting her siblings, never allowed out at night, etc. etc. We eventually grew apart because I needed friends who could do typical high school things with me - go to dances, hang out at the beach, etc. etc. M was rarely if ever allowed to do such things.

I know she felt “dropped” and I feel really bad now. Last time I spoke to her was a few years ago, and she had been going through therapy in part because her mother was so draconian. I wish I had known a little more how difficult things were for her, and stood by her instead of finding a new group of friends. Not that I did that on purpose - it just sort of evolved that way, I hung out with the people at the dances, at the beach, etc. and eventually M and I didn’t have a lot in common anymore.

Fuckin’ parents - there’s some things in life more important that making good grades or always doing the right thing. Heck, kids NEED to get in trouble sometimes, it’s part of growing up. Grrrr…

Alright, there is a big problem here that noone else is looking at.

They don’t believe her. Maybe she’s a compulsive liar, but when your kid says ‘Mom, that can’t be right, here are my tests, LOOK!’ and you don’t listen, YOU ARE MAKING A BAD PROBLEM WORSE. Sounds like her parents don’t know how to listen.

And as for those who think the rod should be used until broken: my parents were strict, but they had brains enough to know that if they punished me past a reasonable level, all they were going to do was make me mad and drive me away from them. First drinking offence: 1 month grounding. (I was 15.) Second, one week. After that, my father said he knew damn well I would do it regardless of the punishment but any shit I got in was mine to deal with. And I did more than alright growing up.

Athena: your best friend sounds like mine. She got shit on for the smallest things, as she was supposed to set the example, while her younger brother got and STILL gets away with murder. I was calling her mother a stupid fucking bitch on a conf call, her mother was listening in (LONG STORY), best friend calls later and says I CANT BELIEVE YOU SAID THAT. I told her, believe it, it’s true, she IS being a bitch to you and I don’t care if it’s on your dead grandma’s grave, I will tell it like it is. (Her mother and I get along fine now.)

MIS: I don’t suggest you do what I did, her folks sound like the kind who would forbid you to see her after that. I hope they come to their senses. Maybe if she asks them to sit down and TALK about it they’ll realize she’s no longer a baby, and has some reason in her lovely head.

Funny, some of my best memories of high school involve sneaking off campus and skipping class, too.

MGibson, sounds like you were a real goody-two-shoes.

Soooo the answer is to put the teenagers in charge?

Look at it this as a different kind of teaching tool. You cite that these kids need to become adults, yes? By having nearly instantaneous accountability of their actions they know that they will be held responsible for their actions. Would it be better to teach things like being on time in HS or wait till they are out in the working world. How many lives have been decimated by losing a job while having a family to support. Teaching teens that they WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS is a damn good thing. I have seen it fail miserably up close. They will still make their own decisions to ditch class or lie about doing their homework but they will suffer the consequences.

If you think this is sounding a little too brutal take a long hard look at your own job and ask yourself how familiar alot of these “monitoring” concepts sound.

My mother-in-law is a high school teacher, and she is having a lot of trouble with the new grading/attendance computer system her school installed (and she isn’t a slouch with computers otherwise by any means.) It doesn’t really surprise me that teachers are making mistakes with these things–apparently, they aren’t the easiest things to use. There are grave consequences if she screws up, too–the software automatically calls parents if students are late for class! If the teacher is late doing attendance–oops.

If the grade in question is a mistake, your friend should ask her teacher to have the grade corrected (she certainly doesn’t want this mistake to end up on a report card or transcript!) and then ask her teacher to call her parents and explain (and hopefully, apologize for) the mistake. Your friend’s parents might not believe her explanation, but they should believe the teacher’s. If they do not restore privileges after they find out it was a mistake, then they are being unreasonable. They aren’t following their own rules. They won’t go back on a punishment even if she can prove that she didn’t do the “crime”? I don’t even know how you can deal with parents like that, honestly.

I just can’t get over how condenscending the SDMB is towards teenagers. Sure, when I was a teenager I wasn’t prepared for every aspect of adulthood, but I was definatly an adult-in-process with valid thoughts, needs and desires. According to what I have seen here, however, teenagers are not sentient beings but strange souless monsters that are to be contained and derided as soon as possible.

The more we disempower and belittle people, the less prepared they will be to take responisibility for themselves and the more they will feel compelled to express their rage at powerlessness through rebellion and violence. This is not to say that we should give teenagers full reign, but we do need to RESPECT them. They are humans that are worthy of respect and a reasonable amount of self-determination.

I can’t even imagine life on a computer grade system (and that is not just because I am anti-grade, which is another story). A letter, especially one given on a weekly basis, is no real indicator of what is going on. This is especially true in high school, when late work is often accepted. A midterm grade is a work in process, and often does not show how you are really doing in the class. For example, if you bomb a test in the beginning of the term, you might end up with an ‘F’ on a report card, regardless of the fact that unless you bomb more tests, you will not receive an ‘F’ on your final report card. Nevertheless, all the parent sees is an ‘F’ and no amount of explaination by a teenager will ever convince said parent that that ‘F’ is anything less than a catastrophe. The parent simply won’t have the whole story. This constant monitering also makes it harder for the teacher to assign creative, work, as parents demand that they see a grade in real time for every single thing. Beyond that, it turns school into a place of constant grade anxiety instead of a place of learning. It turns schoolrooms into fishbowls. It brings constant fear, because simply a piece of the whole can have very real consequences, even when that peice isn’t actually that bad.

Beyond that, there are technical problems as well. My school had a computer attendence system that would automatically call if you were “absent”. Well, my mom was pretty good about letting me stay home if I needed to, and so I never felt the need to “skip” class, especially because skipping would cause me to have to do more work in make-up work than going to class in the first place. Still, I would get called about twice a month. I had a lot of fun trying to explain to Mom that if I were going to skip class I would be smarter about it than to allow it to be picked up by the computer. Stupid machine caused me no end of greif, despite me stellar attendence.

But the thing that bothers me the most is that these systems seem to be “parent involvement lite”. Having a constant grade and punishing your child accordingly is no substitute for having a real commitment to your child’s education. Real parent involvment involves having an interest in what your child is learning, what he or she is interested in, and where he or she needs help. Fake parent involvment is looking up a letter on the Internet and then grounding them. We need more real parent involvment, not more of the pseudo-involvment. The former can bring our education system up from the ashes, the latter can only harm us.

even sven, i would like to make a motion to appoint you “Speaker for the Teen”.