I wouldn't necessarily call myself a sports fanatic, but I do have a few teams that I follow and I usually listen to sports radio on my 45 minute drive to school each morning. This morning, the topic of discussion (at least for the part where I was driving) centered mostly on Tiger Woods and his current streak of poor play.
For those of you who don't follow golf, basically, you know Tiger Woods was a pretty awesome golfer. Then there was a bit of scandal about his personal life and he took a long break from the sport. He is working his way back into playing tournaments now, but has been nowhere near his previous level on the course. While there have been "glimpses of his former self" on certain holes, the general consensus is that he is not only playing poorly, but his body language seems to sometimes say that he doesn't even want to be there anymore. This is especially distressing for Tiger Woods because one of his best features previously was his mental focus and toughness.
Anyhow, here's why I'm writing about it here. For those of you with experience in Standards Based Grading (or some other similar system where current knowledge is more heavily weighted than previous), how would this sort of situation play out in your classroom? By the way the PGA ranks its players, Tiger Woods is still the #1 golfer (even after his long absence and recent poor play--that's how dominant he was previously), but anyone watching his current performances would know that he doesn't deserve that title currently.
I guess I'm asking it in two parts. One, do we take into account that his poor performance may be largely due to personal issues from off the course? If so, how can we help the student (and our gradebook) separate those issues from the performances? And if we don't do any sort of "averaging" system with the numerical grades, what's the best way to assess this student?
Two, if we disregard the personal issues (or don't believe they're the cause), what do you do with a student who has performed exceptionally for such a long time and then drops off dramatically (maybe "senioritis" or some other non-catastrophic issue comes into play)?