Public Schools of Petoskey S TLC Minutes from 2/7/13

Public Schools of Petoskey S TLC Minutes from 2/7/13

Public Schools of Petoskey’s TLC Minutes from 2/7/13

Lynn welcomed members and guests.

Book Study- Checking of Understanding:

  • Questions
  • Depth of knowledge discussions in small groups

Group 1 Recall: Need

  • For follow-up questions to explain how students got their answers
  • To clarify vocabulary so students understand
  • To scaffold between questions for deeper understanding
  • To ask yourself, “Does this question provide a good representation of what the class knows?”

Group 2 Skill/Concept: Need

  • For teacher to be purposeful in how they set up the question
  • To prepare questions in advance

Group 3 Strategic Thinking: Need

  • For strategic thinking questions that are prepared in advance
  • For teachers’ non-verbal clues- Important not to give away thoughts before response is heard

Group 4 Extended Thinking: Need

  • For added effort to get whole group responses rather than just a few kids
  • For some response types to increase Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
  • For foundation of DOK 1 & 2 questions that increase to DOK 3 & 4
  • For teacher/student trust necessary to elicit questions/answers from all comfort levels

Next month: Read chapter 4 for discussion

Discussion on Weighted Grades and Class Ranking:

Primary Question to Discuss: Is there a disadvantage to college scholarships and admissions due to unweighted AP grades and class rankings?

Topics for Discussion / Weighed Grades
Discussion Comments / Student Ranking
Discussion Comments
Primary Topics:
College Admission and Scholarships
Secondary Topic:
Numbers of AP Students at PHS through Weighted Grades /
  • Some colleges convert AP into a new GPA calculation anyway if AP courses are not weighted—more importance on core courses taken.
(Verified by 2 TLC members/parents based upon their own graduates’ experiences)
  • Most colleges use a holistic way to invite students, and GPA is just one of many points they use.
  • PHS students are compared to each other, not other schools during admissions.
  • Many colleges (U of M) unweight grades from high school.
  • Counselors met with AP students, & some students felt weighted grades would be negative. (Kids wouldn’t work as hard & still get a 4.0.)
  • AP government students polled by a peer would like more AP courses with weighted grades.
  • We don’t want weighted grades to give kids a false sense of security with higher grades.
  • Kelly J. invited to attend TLC today as K-12 Career/College Readiness Specialist at
Charlevoix-Emmet ISD & former admissions officer at CMU: CMU accepts weighted grades, but many other factors are considered.
  • National trends may show 70% of high schools have gone to weighted grades. (Several schools our size polled downstate showed an increase in AP courses taken after instituting weighted grades.)
  • Weighted grade inflation of concerns for some Ivy League colleges (e.g., Dartmouth, etc.).
  • Colleges do well analyzing grades versus rigor of courses taken.
  • Research was presented that there are better graduation rates from college of those who take more rigorous courses, so we should want to attract more kids into AP.
  • PHS Longitudinal AP scores- In 2011-2012 students took 273 AP tests and 76.1% of them received a score of 3 or higher; in 2012-2013 almost 50% of our students were in AP or Honor’s classes; and, from 2011-12 to 2012-13, there was an increase of 66 AP courses taken.
  • U of M is our 3rd most common institution for PHS grads (NCMC 1st and MSU 2nd).
  • In 2011, 66% of PHS grads enrolled in college during their 1st year after graduation.
  • PHS made the Annual AP Honor Roll this year as 1 of 539 high schools in US and Canada for increasing the number of students taking AP courses and improving AP scores.
  • Eliminate rank
  • Most colleges don’t use class ranking, but use rigor of courses taken instead
  • Formulas are all different between high schools, so rank is unessential
  • Ranking can cause difficulty for receiving scholarships if that is part of the scholarship’s formula.
  • Eliminating ranking would help on receiving scholarships.
  • Ranking is poor for students’ self-esteem of those on the lower half.

Discussion followed with voting.

The TLC members voted YES to eliminate class ranking at Petoskey High School starting this year.

The TLC members voted NO on weighted grades at Petoskey High School.

Lynn asked that the TLC be kept aware of numbers of students in AP classes in regards to revisiting the weighted topic at a later date.

Discussion followed voting.

Question posed- What data/information did the TLC review before making a decision and did the TLC see all of the research?

Answers to this question - (Offered by several people from the TLC)

1. The last meeting also provided data and research (prior & during the meeting)

A. Groups were formed for discussion.

B. The previously provided and new information had been discussed in

both groups.

2. Today’s meeting contained similar information from the last meeting and

added other information & personal thoughts (e.g., polling of PHS AP

students, PHS graduate data, and AP/Honors’ course data).

3. Main content from all emails had been brought up in one or both

of the past 2 meetings.

A. Most people who had emailed are in attendance today or in January too (Dr. Ron M. - both meetings; Val M. - this meeting; and Mary Joe K. - both meetings).

B. The main components of the email from Heather M. (requested by Lynn S.) had been covered in one or both of the meeting(s).

C. All emailed message components were discussed without using identifying names when the sender was not present.

Proponents of gifted and talented-

1. Environment is important- Are we supporting the message that it’s great to be

smart? Weighted grades are not the answer to that, just a piece of a puzzle.

2. The focus should be on internal desire to succeed—of wanting kids to take


3. This is a cultural issue. What message (with weighted grades) are we giving?

4. I support kids taking risks with no glass ceiling. We actively need to push

back against mediocrity.

Our next meeting is March 7, 2013. Please read Chapter 4 (pages 57-71) from the book Checking for Understanding:

Submitted by: Ami Dionne

Typed by: Diana Konkus

Reviewed by: Ami Dionne & Lynn Slanec