There's always one.
Last night was Back To School Night, where I gave my spiel to plenty of parents over the course of an hour and a half. I told them how I calculate grades, how I apparently don't round grades enough to satisfy some people (that elicited a chuckle each time), and how grades in my class are designed to accurately reflect a student's performance level in the course.
Each year there's one, and usually only one, parent who will ask: "So what if everyone gets D's or F's?"
My reply is usually that since that's never happened, let's not worry about a hypothetical, and instead focus on making sure our kids are on the other end of the grade spectrum. But last night a parent was prepared for that answer: "It's happened in your class before."
It's happened that on certain tests, students score generally worse than they do on others--e.g., logarithms for some reason. But her statement was pretty bold, if not rude.
"Perhaps by the time the story gets to you, everyone's failed, but that's not what happens in reality."
Fortunately she didn't push the issue any further.
But why did she raise it in the first place? If she or someone she knows had a child in my class before and she believes this child's story to be true, why ask me if it's true, especially in a public forum? And if she doesn't want to believe my answer--again, why ask? The only answer I can come up with is she wanted to make some point, or win some power play, and on both counts I don't think she was successful. In other words, she got a D or an F in tact, while all the other parents got A's.
See? I told you to focus on the other end of the grade spectrum!