Sunday, November 8, 2020

Schools Abandoning Traditional Grading System


              Secondary schools in the San Diego Unified School District have dispensed with the traditional A, B, C, D and F grading system due to racial disparities. Seems that Black, Hispanic and Native students receive lower grades, on average, than white or Asian ones. Apparently, classroom behavior has factored into students’ grades, prompting so-called experts to claim that this unfairly disadvantages students from poorer families and single parent households. Ergo, going forward, no letter grades will be given. Moreover, kids caught cheating won’t be penalized. Instead, they will be given time to “reflect” on their actions and receive Counseling.

              Conversely, students in California can reportedly be arrested and jailed if they miss a “30-minute period during the school day” three or more times a year. This law has morphed into a post-COVID-19 state law that requires teachers to “make sure students are actually participating and not just attending class” virtually. In fact, Lafayette’s Stanley Middle School recently threatened to arrest the son of Mark Mastrov, a seventh grader, according to the East Bay Times. The school’s principal, Betsy Balmat, says the school made three automatic calls to the Mastrov family after he allegedly missed 90 minutes of ZOOM class sessions, an assertion that Mr. Mastrov disputes. Mastrov says his son is a “straight-A” student and believes that he merely logged in shortly after the teacher had taken roll call.

              Papa Mastrov stated, “Out of the blue, we got this letter. It said my son had missed classes, and at the bottom it referenced a state law which said truants can go to jail for missing 90 minutes of class. I called the school and said, ‘Hey, I want to clear this up.’ I was told that it was the law. I said, ‘Are you kidding me? Then that’s a bad law.’” He also noted that families of other students have received similar letters.

              To recap, students of color (SOC?) in at least one California school district can now act up in class and even flat-out cheat without experiencing any repercussions, yet a white student like Markov can be threatened with arrest and jail time in another school district in the same state for not logging into a virtual class on time. Well, that makes perfect nonsense.

              Dispensing with grades and standards of behavior will not work out well for anyone. It will lead to the degrading of learning, respect, and the students’ ability to function successfully when they leave school.

Threatening students with arrest and jail time for being late to join a remote ZOOM class will do the same.

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