School District's Ridiculous New Policy Won't Allow Teachers to Give Grades Below 50

failing gradeTerrible students in Orange County have reason to celebrate! The school board has announced that it is eliminating grades that fall below a 50. The ridiculous reasoning behind this major shift?


Officials say this will help students pass who might otherwise give up and even drop out of school. Students might still get an F (which is now from a 50 to 59), but they hope this shift will do wonders for the self-esteem and motivation of those at-risk students.

Administrators also note that this new system won't apply to individual assignments. Teachers can still give kids a zero for bad work -- they just can't give them below a 50 for a final semester grade. Not surprisingly, teachers' groups are opposed to the shift. Some feel it's grade inflation and forces them to commit academic fraud.

It does seem like rewarding failure. If a student is not putting in the work or effort, how will padding his grade be beneficial in the long run? How does this prepare them for life? It gives a false sense of their ability and intelligence. Who does that help?

And is this fair to those students who work hard to score As, Bs, and Cs? This seems to be unfair to everyone -- especially those kids who are failing. Coming home with inflated grades also keeps parents in the dark about how much help their children actually need. And will this really motivate these kids or make them even more lazy? They won't have to do anything and their grades still won't fall below a 50. Instead, why doesn't the district use its resources to give these kids extra tutoring or move them into smaller classrooms so they can get more focused instruction?

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins insists it's a good move. Last year, 43 percent of the students who were helped by this "no grade lower than a 50" plan still failed, but many did manage to raise their average to a D. Most importantly, she claims, those students didn't lose hope.

Hope? Well, let's hope they can find a job when they try to use their below average skill set in the real world.

What do you think about this new grades policy?


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