Soft bigotry of low expectations.
Last month, my colleague Mike LaChance noted that with an substantial increase in failing grades, likely due to dreadful COVID-learning restrictions, California school districts were planning to rework the grading system to be more…”equitable”.
Now the approach is being adopted my major school districts across the state are adopting the approach.
Bad report cards could soon be a thing of the past in California as some of the state’s largest school districts are dropping “D” and “F” grades.
Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified and other California districts have decided to limit the use of “Ds” and phased out “Fs” in grading. High schoolers who fail a test or homework assignment can get a do-over or more time to complete the work.
Students who don’t ever finish the assignments or who fail the final exam would earn an “incomplete,” according to EdSource.
The move is called competency-based learning. Advocates argue that assessment should be based on mastery of learning — what students have learned instead of how they test. Supporters also hope it will help kids re-engage after nearly two years of virtual learning during the pandemic.
And while woke administrators are cheering on this approach, many instructors and education professionals have concerns.
Debora Rinehart, a math and science teacher at St. Theresa School, a Catholic school in Oakland, said she thought removing the lower marks was akin to lying to students about their true level of achievement.
‘I will work with any student before or after school or even on the weekend to help them learn. However, I will never lie about their knowledge level,’ she said.
And we should forget there will be unintended consequences. Responsible parents will spend money and time to distinguish their children’s real abilities from those who have been “equitably” assessed.
Parents have previously taken just this route when confronted with the fact that the University of California system will no longer be utilizing standardized testing.
The UC last month said it will no longer require any standardized tests in its admissions process, noting that exams like the SAT and ACT may give a leg up to wealthier students whose families can afford pricey test preparation. But, as Joe reports, some San Francisco Unified families are paying for extra math classes so their kids can take AP Calculus by senior year and potentially have a better chance of getting into the college of their choice.
Finally, this move is distastefully racialist: It smacks of the soft bigotry of low expectations.
The soft bigotry of low expectations.
— 🇺🇸🇨🇺 Jim Böbarino 🇨🇺🇺🇸 (@JBobMagnificent) December 14, 2021
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