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College courses tougher

June 4, 2013

To the Editor: I read the editorial board’s response to the Fairmont Area School Board’s decision to stand by its policy not to weight PSEO grades in the same manner that it does AP and College in......

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Jun-10-13 9:53 AM

MCWMOM - The issue is NOT over giving PSEO preferential weight, it is about treating college courses equally with high school courses, even high school honor courses. And while the high school does not oversee the college courses, do you honestly think no one is controlling them? They have department heads and standards to adhere to which are higher than high school standards.

BTW, as to your Harvard vs MSU analogy, an A is an A, until you apply for a job. Most employers know the difference and would take a Harvard grad over a U of M grad.

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Jun-07-13 11:32 AM

I think no two classes or programs are alike; I'm sure some have high expectations and some probably don't. The issue here is whether the local district should give preferential weight to PSEO programs. Since the school has no control whatsoever on what or how those classes are administered, they should not be giving more credit to programs they have no control over. Example: If you transferred from Harvard to MSU, your grades wouldn't be worth more just because they came from an Ivy League School.

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Jun-07-13 10:25 AM

I was trying to agree with you that they may be outliers, as in below average; I don't think they are though. BTW, kids can take PSEO through U of M also. Is your prob with Presentation or PSEO in general?? Curious as to how many students thought PSEO was easier and shorter. Shorter, yes... just like college. College semesters are typically 15 weeks, public school is usually 18. Easier? Not from what I have seen reviewing my child's homework. And you seriously think PSEO has no standards to meet? Please do your research and see if you still actually belive this!

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Jun-06-13 6:28 AM

Really, our "professors" in Fairmont might be "outliers"? As compared to the U of M. With CIS, the school has to meet the standards and make the college happy, with PSEO there are no standards. Most of the students I talked to about PSEO and staying in Fairmont have said "shorter and easier."

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Jun-05-13 3:57 PM

Thinking -

Good to see you are investigating for yourself. You say "data is data"... absolutely correct. The data is from survey's put together by PhD's at the U of M. They could be wrong. It is possible that PC and Minnesota West are outliers, but unlikely.

You say you are making comparisons. Of PSEO to CIS and AP, or PSEO to standard high school classes? That makes a big difference. If you are indeed comparing PSEO to CIS and find no big difference then why would you disagree that they should be treated equally? This is why I am in favor of instituting Rochester's program where students appeal for weighting of grades for PSEO.

Finally, I don't get your point about college professors possibly being bad. This also applies to high school teachers. You could get a terrible newbie who just finished their Master's program. You could also get a PhD

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Jun-05-13 6:08 AM

Data is data, do what you want with it. If only the top 30% in the class can go PSEO, one would think they would have a higher GPA. Next, put syllabus up to syllabus. At least in Fairmont you will find that your statement may not be 100% true, then look at the state standards. As someone who is looking at sending a student PSEO, I found that when comparing, it is not as much of a difference as you might think. Also, found out all you need to be a "professor" is a masters degree. That doesn't mean you have any teaching skills. Not trying to put any professors down in town, but I had many professors in my day that were smart, but couldn't teach.

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Jun-04-13 5:13 PM

Thanks for the time you spent on this topic Dr. B and your letters and presentations. It's good to have parents and community members to look at topics in-depth when school board members may not be able. I just hope THEY thanked you, too. When I read the article covering the school board meeting I thought the reporter used a slant when covering your comments and Green's comments. The adjectives chosen gave a bit more positive slant to the school board in my opinion. When will it end? ...I think we know the answer to that one.

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Jun-04-13 9:36 AM

As I said in my editorial, students who have taken both have stated that PSEO was more challenging. That is according to published research of statewide students. The few people you talked to said it was easier after taking the class? Then they would be the exception.

As far as meeting 4 times a week for half a year, that is the schedule most colleges use. I do not know of any colleges who follow high school level schedules. It is much faster paced and much more in depth. The homework usually entails hours a night vs hours a week.

Whomever told you these classes don't meet the state standards for graduation is misinformed. They are college classes taught by college professors and are required to meet certain standards. Remember, as my editorial stated, PSEO students have higher GPA's going into college than those who did not. So these are not slacker students, they are above average students seeking more challenge, not less.

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Jun-04-13 6:26 AM

Just thinking, why would a student go PSEO in some classes when CIS is offered in the school? The few I talked to was because it was easier, shorter, and they would not to attend 5 days a week. I don't understand how a class that meets 4 times a week for 1/2 a year should be equal to a year. And then you want to weight it? I have been told that these classes don't meet state standards for graduation. Let them take the PSEO class and then have them take the same test that those that didn't and see how they feel then. I think the problem is students don't know how to stand up for what is best for themselves. If it is easier, it must be better. I remember the photo of the chemistry class at Presentation working with toothpicks and marshmallows. Rigor? Nothing bad about Presentation, but the comparison should not be made generally unless the PSEO student can prove they can perform up to what is offered in the school.

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