Thursday, October 29, 2009

What matters is Achievement

Act 1: Scene 1

Mr. Stevens carried a stack of papers to the front of the classroom. “These are your final exam results,” he said while walking up the first row of desks, and handing a stapled packet to each sophomore. “You’ll recall that this test covered all the work we did this semester. The grade reflects your level of knowledge and skills acquired.” He walked down the next row, passing out more papers.

Paper crackled and slapped the desk as students looked through the pages. A few students raised a hand. The teacher headed up the next row of seats. “There are two grades. The first is the exam grade. The second, which is circled, is your grade for the course.” Hands dropped, except for one.

“If you have any questions, see me after class.”

“Mr. Stevens, how can I have an A on my exam and a D for the course?” Tony asked, while keeping his hand in the air. The sounds of rustling paper ceased.

The teacher continued his measured steps, turning down the final row. “As I’ve already stated, I’ll answer questions at the end of class.”

“Sir, I got an A on the exam. You just said that it covered the entire semester work. An A means I know a lot about this course. So how come you gave me a D?” Tony was short of breath.

Mr. Stevens exhaled. All eyes watched and waited for his response. “Alright, since you insist. You’ve turned in few homework assignments and you’ve participated little in class discussions. Calculating those grades, the A’s and B’s on tests, and the Final exam results in a D.”


"That’s the real world Tony. Apply yourself better next time."

Act 1: Scene 2

Ms. Stevens carried envelopes to the front of the conference room. “These are the 6 month commissions,” she said while walking around one side of the table of sales reps and corporate executives, and handing an envelope to each person. “Based on your quota for sales and contracts negotiated, your commission represent how much you made for the company. Checks will arrive this coming Friday.

Paper ripping filled the room as the people pulled out statements. Some chuckled or whispered. Several hands rose. Ms. Stevens rounded the table, passing out more envelopes. “There are two numbers listed. The first is the total amount you've earned for the company. The second number is a multiplier for your commission.”

People murmured.

Stacy, her had still raised holding her letter. “Ms. Stevens, I’ve attended every meeting and turned in all memos on time. I made sales quota exactly. Why do I have the minimum multiplier? Tony over there misses meetings and he’s chronically late on memos. Yet he’s got a huge multiplier.”

Ms. Stevens sighed. “Tony exceeds every sales and contract goal set. He keeps that up, he can miss some meetings and turn in memos when he’s not making a sale or closing a lucrative contract for the company."


"That’s the real world. Apply yourself better next time."


Resources to explore

15 Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O'Connor

Webinar - Book links 1st - 2nd - 3rd

Here's a link if the video does not show on this page.

Here's a link if the video does not show on this page.

Your thoughts...?