Prince George’s County is considering enacting a policy that would make it so high school students never get a grade below 50 percent, among other changes that are aimed at addressing inequity among students.
The proposed policy would still allow teachers to fail students–but instead of getting, say, a 35 on an assignment, they’d get at least a 50. (That is, if they showed some effort–you will, alas, still have to show up and at least try to do your homework.) The idea behind the new policy is that very low failing grades make students feel hopeless and that they never have a chance to catch up; that may inspire them to just give up on the class in the middle of the semester. Such a policy is already in place in the county’s elementary and middle school schools. Another new policy would not allow teachers to factor a student’s behavior into his or her grade. There’s some similarity here with the recent debate over covered grades at local universities.
Conservative magazine The National Review was incensed by the proposed policies, saying that they would not prepare students for “the real world.” I’m not sure how much tests you’ve had to take as a member of the real world, but for me, so far it’s been… zero.
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