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My 17 year old high school junior was given an 80 on his final exam in
English. This was very unlike him; he did get an A for the year; his
final grade was a 96. When I asked him about the 80 on his final he
said the teacher, ( a substitute) admitted to misplacing the answer
key and "was going to give everyone an 80" Now I know that 17 year
olds can sometimes stretch the truth; but my son is an excellent
student and has never made below a 92 in English before now. His ACT
score in English was a 34. Should I mention this to the principal? My
son says let it go....he got an A for the class and that's all that
matters. However it really bugs me. Any advice?

Joy Dukes


Yes, I think you should speak to the principal because it is unethical, unprofessional and
simply wrong for a teacher to say "I am going to give everyone an 80." If the teacher lost
the answer key and couldn't score the exam it should have been eliminated from the
determination of grades because, while the 80 may have been accurate for some students,
it was almost certainly inaccurate for most students including your son. What is most
serious here however is not the inaccurate scoring but the lost opportunity for the students
to get feedback on the learning they demonstrated on the final exam. If we want teaching
and learning to improve we should always focus on the learning NOT the scores and