Schools should give testimonials to students
The ballad from the shorter lever
Which student has never clenched his fists in anger because of a grade that he considered to be unfair, formulated a complaint indignantly - only to then not hand it in for fear of further anger? But what is actually behind it? Maybe everything is not as unfair as it seems at first glance.
Performance evaluations are important because, on the one hand, they serve to orient students and parents as to where the student is in terms of performance. On the other hand, they form the basis for the granting of authorizations (such as transfer, graduation or examination certificates).
How do grades come about?
The basics of the grading are all oral, written (e.g. school assignments, short-term work, external events) and practical (e.g. pictures in art education, exercises in physical education) performance certificates provided by the student.
The performance evaluation in the form of grades is carried out uniformly in all federal states according to grades 1 to 6. In the case of a performance evaluation according to points, the points are assigned to the grade levels on the basis of a 15-point system.
Which one scale is used for the assessment, depends on the binding requirements for the respective school type and grade. Since it is almost impossible for the teachers to assess you and your performance appropriately in individual cases based on these criteria alone, it is also permissible if the teachers also compare your performance with the performance level of the class as a whole.
You can find out more about your right to information and that of your parents regarding your performance level here.
The evaluation of individual teaching achievements
The evaluation of individual achievements during the school year primarily serves the purpose of giving you, your parents and the teachers an overview of your performance level, your strengths and weaknesses.
In order to determine your performance level and any necessary support measures, the preparation of class tests is primarily important. They are usually written when a lesson is completed. They should be announced in good time so that you can prepare yourself adequately. Of course, they are written under supervision so that the class work gives the teacher a really accurate picture of your knowledge and skills. They are to be distributed evenly over the school (half) year. No more than one class test should be written in a day.
If you refuse to write a paper or if you miss it without excuse, the paper will be graded "unsatisfactory". In the event of willful refusal, teachers must also notify your parents.
If, for example, you are unable to take a class test due to illness and a corresponding excuse, your teacher can request that you re-write the class test if otherwise no proper performance assessment is possible in the next certificate.
Certificates are given at the end of each school semester. This will summarize your performance in the various subjects. A certificate also contains - at least in the primary and lower secondary level - important statements about your other school behavior, the so-called social behavior or the top grades. Often grades are replaced by a general descriptive assessment during the first two grades of primary school.
If you have successfully completed the senior year or passed a final exam, you will receive a Diploma. Pupils who leave school after the end of compulsory schooling without having achieved the goal will receive a Certificate of Departure.
The weighting of the achievements in the formation of the certificate grade depends on the federal state, the type of school, the subject, the number of performance records and the age of the student. Class tests fall compared to oral performance i. d. Usually more important.
How the teachers rate the oral performance is left to them within the scope of their pedagogical discretion. In particular, it is not to be seen as unfair that the teacher asks you more often in class than your classmates if he is not yet entirely sure about your grades.
Depending on the federal state, the certificate grade is determined either by the subject teacher or by the class conference at the suggestion of the subject teacher. Cooperation and behavior are assessed by the class conference on the basis of suggestions from the individual teachers.
The margin of appreciation
If you and your teacher have different opinions about the quality of your performance, you unfortunately often have the shorthand lever. The reason: The evaluation of a school performance is at the discretion of the educator. This means that every teacher has a wide margin of appreciation when it comes to grading.
However, that does not mean that a teacher can simply give good or bad grades according to his taste or for reasons of sympathy.
The performance evaluation
- got to factual take place (e.g. no exaggerated derogatory or angry remarks in the case of written work),
- may that Basic right to equal treatment do not hurt (e.g. all students must have the same processing time for a class test; equal opportunities must be maintained),
- got to appropriate and comprehensible be (e.g. not a lower grade in maths because the paper contains spelling errors),
- may not arbitrary be (e.g. not a lower grade because the student is pierced) and
- must be within a responsibly used discretion play (e.g. for art work and in music lessons).
Performance evaluations are difficult to verify in court. Judges therefore only limit themselves to compliance with general principles, as they do not know the subject matter dealt with and the specific exam situation.
Compliance with examination rules and procedural rules
It is therefore checked whether general test rules have been observed. So the judges pay attention to whether
- the teacher has checked the exam in full or whether, for example, a page has been overlooked,
- the examination lasted the prescribed time,
- the teacher correctly added up the points achieved, or
- whether the corrector assumed that the correct auxiliary material was approved for the examination, e.g. B. the calculator.
The court is examining whether Procedural rules were complied with. So may
- a teacher contrary to the existing procedural rules (final examination) z. B. not only write 4 instead of 7 school assignments in the school year or
- no student will be examined if he is clearly ill or
- the exam is not written under unreasonable test conditions (e.g. defective heating in winter or unbearable construction site noise).
The principle of equal treatment
In addition, the court checks whether the principle of equal treatment between the pupils has been observed and that equal opportunities have been preserved among the pupils.
For example, no teacher is allowed
- give some students a calculator as a math aid, but not others
- Tell part of the school class about the subject matter of the exam, but not to the other part of the class.
Protection of grades and compensation for disadvantages
From the principle of equal treatment, however, it also follows that individual restrictions are taken into account. Pupils with reading and writing disabilities (LRS) can apply Note protection be granted. Spelling skills are not assessed in exams (or only cautiously in the advanced level). The grade protection is intended to protect students from the effects of reading and spelling weaknesses on their school career, motivation and psyche. In this way, you can concentrate on the actual learning and examination material and do not have to worry all the time that the many spelling errors will ruin your school grades.
Affected students first go through a recognition procedure in which the presence of a reading-spelling weakness is officially determined. If grade protection was granted due to a recognized weakness in reading and writing, a corresponding remark is usually entered in the certificate.
The compensation for disadvantages can be suspended according to the dyslexia decrees of the individual federal states under certain conditions if the spelling performance is stable over a longer period of time "sufficient" or better (see e.g. No. 188.8.131.52 Dyslexia decree Schleswig-Holstein).
Here you can find the dyslexia decrees of the other federal states: https://www.iflw.de/service/legasthenieerlasse.htm
Nobody is left behind
If you can generally meet the performance requirements and only have restrictions in some areas, should be Compensation for disadvantages be granted. In doing so, the performance requirements are not reduced. Only (examination) conditions are created under which students with partial limitations can show their skills and knowledge despite the deficits.
In the case of physical impairments, e.g. B. the exercises can be adjusted. In the case of attention problems, a low-stimulus, structured work environment can be created. In the case of comprehension and hearing problems, the tasks can be changed.
In the case of a reading-spelling disorder, the affected students can be given more time because they need longer to read through the tasks and write down the answers than the average student. It is also possible to read the exercises out loud.
It depends on the type and extent of the impairment which measures are taken to compensate for the disadvantage.
Compliance with recognized evaluation standards
The judges also check whether generally recognized evaluation standards have been complied with. Extreme imbalances between different assessments that cannot be explained factually or contradictions between the reasons for a grade and the grade itself are prohibited. In addition, the teacher must not allow himself to be guided by irrelevant considerations in his assessment. For example, expressions of sympathy or discipline intended with the grading are prohibited. This means: a teacher must not rate the performance of a student worse because he doesn't like him.
Technical differences of opinion
If there are different views between you and your teacher about the quality of your performance, the assessment is difficult for the judges. In the past, judges therefore had to stay out of a technical and content review of the individual work almost completely.
Not today. The court may review performance assessments from a technical and scientific point of view. This does not mean, however, that courts are allowed to intervene in teachers' discretion. Examination-specific assessments such as degree of difficulty, accuracy, clarity and scope of the justification of a solution, which are often inextricably linked with professional examination opinions, are not accessible to judicial review.
No prospect of success ...
... you have when your parents praise your painted picture as an outstanding work of art and celebrate you as the new Picasso, while your teacher thinks your performance is average and therefore gives you a bad grade. In this case, the judges leave the assessment to the responsible teacher.
Appeal against censorship
If you feel that you have been judged unfairly, legal action is only worthwhile if the grade is important for your further school career (promotion) or for your professional career (diploma).
If the described consequences threaten, you can take legal action against it. Because only against school performance assessments, which are administrative acts, your legal guardian or you (if you are of legal age) can lodge formal legal remedies with the school or the school supervisory authority and then take legal action before the administrative court.
The administrative act
In principle, the following decisions by the school are administrative acts and can therefore be challenged by objection and legal action before the administrative court:
- Not being promoted to the next higher class
- The non-admission to the Abitur
- The diploma in itself
Not contestable on the other hand are for example:
- Individual grades in a class test
- Grades in interim and final certificates that do not have any direct legal consequences, e.g. B. are not decisive for transfer.
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