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Illinois High School Changing Grading Criteria to Achieve Racial Equity of Outcome

Illinois High School Changing Grading Criteria to Achieve Racial Equity of Outcome

“Many OPRFHS teachers are successfully exploring and implementing more equitable grading practices such as: utilizing aspects of competency-based grading, eliminating zeros from the grade book, and encouraging and rewarding growth over time”

Oak Park and River Forest High School in Illinois is implementing a new grading plan for the 2022-2023 school year that will take certain racial differences into account.

They’re not going to assign grades based on race, but they will stop penalizing certain students for tardiness, not turning in assignments, etc.

The West Cook News released this report, which the school disputed:

OPRF to implement race-based grading system in 2022-23 school year

Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators will require teachers next school year to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students.

School board members discussed the plan called “Transformative Education Professional Development & Grading” at a meeting on May 26, presented by Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Laurie Fiorenza.

In an effort to equalize test scores among racial groups, OPRF will order its teachers to exclude from their grading assessments variables it says disproportionally hurt the grades of black students. They can no longer be docked for missing class, misbehaving in school or failing to turn in their assignments, according to the plan.

“Traditional grading practices perpetuate inequities and intensify the opportunity gap,” reads a slide in the PowerPoint deck outlining its rationale and goals.

See the slide presentation here.

The school released this statement:

Statement regarding grading practices

It has come to the District’s attention that a recent article in the online West Cook News inaccurately states that at the Board of Education’s May 26 meeting, Oak Park and River Forest High School announced that it will implement a race-based grading system in the 2022-2023 school year. This is not true.

OPRFHS does not, nor has it ever had a plan to, grade any students differently based on race. The article contains a variety of misleading and inaccurate statements. The article’s mischaracterization of the Board meeting is unfortunate and has caused unnecessary confusion.

As part of the Board of Education’s strategic plan, the OPRFHS Grading and Assessment Committee was formed to examine national research on objective, unbiased practices for determining whether students have mastered academic content. At the Board of Education’s May 26 meeting, the administration’s representative to the OPRFHS Grading and Assessment Committee provided an initial report that included a progress update on the committee’s examination of grading practices.

At no time were any statements made recommending that OPRF implement a race-based grading approach.

Prior to implementing grading changes, if any, recommendations will be made to the Board at a public meeting. Again, contrary to the title of the article, the district has not implemented, and has no intention of implementing, any grading and assessment policy based on race.

The Defense of Freedom Institute has already filed a complaint about this:

Pursuant to the discrimination complaint resolution procedures of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), DFI brings this federal civil rights complaint against Oak Park and River Forest School District 200 (“District 200”) in Oak Park, Illinois for discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VI”)1 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. DFI files this complaint as an interested third-party organization that strongly supports constitutional and statutory prohibitions on school policies that are based on race-based stereotypes or that arise from adverse or preferential treatment based on race.

See the full letter here.


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Diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry), Inequity, and Exclusion (DIE)

Colonel Travis | June 2, 2022 at 5:21 pm

This will create dutiful servants of The State.
Mission accomplished.

That will end up well for them


Time for all the ‘teachers’ to resign.

As usual, a racist policy will hurt those most in need of a good education, as well as creating more division.

Will this nonsense assist success in college or life for minorities? No.

Iirc, social promotion from k-12 has not helped anyone. It has removed any responsibility from the teachers’ unions to make sure that kids can at least read or write. Grades, history, math and science, grammar and achievement based on merit are no more, since they have all been declared to be racist. Incompetence reigns supreme. And yet, the lefties castigate boot-strappers such as Justice Thomas and elevate idiots who refuse to define “woman.”

surfcitylawyer | June 2, 2022 at 5:58 pm

If you get rid of grades, then you have to require completion of requirements before you move on. e.g. Before you move from first grade to second, you have to read 5 books from a list of 20, do math to a certain level, etc.
You may need larger desks in the lower grades.

    ConradCA in reply to surfcitylawyer. | June 2, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    The “special” students will be forgive missed assignments.

      henrybowman in reply to ConradCA. | June 2, 2022 at 8:20 pm

      When this doesn’t work, black students will be assigned “whipping boys” (or girls) — a white student who will be punished whenever the black student to whom they are assigned is tardy or doesn’t turn in an assignment.

      Subsequently, Professor Nagy will be fired once more for tweeting, “Black privilege is real.”

        billi in reply to henrybowman. | June 3, 2022 at 8:41 am

        Henry, you are right. At a Div 1 college my daughter was assigned a “partner” to accomplish a project; He did nothing, missed many of the classes –But, he received the same grade as my daughter. Oh, by the way, just do away with any school work and have cots and refreshments for those who show up. Teacher will get great reviews and then pay raises. My wife is a teacher.

    Gosport in reply to surfcitylawyer. | June 2, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    Or, the system just continues to do what many of them do now, promote the little scholars regardless of any standards. Because it’s their yuman rite.

Teach the way you want.
Grade the way you want.
Tell us your students are educated.

Here’s the question: Will they be able to add 2 + 2?

Schools should issue “Participation Certificates” instead of Diplomas. It is not fair that we are not all PHD’s”!

Should remove these “High schools” accreditation. Those who graduate should not receive diplomas.

    Another Voice in reply to ConradCA. | June 3, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    At best at the time they would have received a qualified diploma of learning, they should be handed a certificate “letter” stating, “Joe/Jane Doe was registered for attending a four year secondary school at “This School” from Sept. 2018 – June 2022. . It should be signed by the President of the Board of Education in keeping with their requirements. I’m sure every potential employer will be sure to see the value of the skills the part time student has achieved.

Teach whites and asians that they’re responsible for how they act and teach blacks that they’re not expected to be responsible for how they act.

That pretty much eliminates blacks’ career choices.

    mbecker908 in reply to rhhardin. | June 2, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    It doesn’t eliminate them, just narrows them a lot.

      Dolce Far Niente in reply to mbecker908. | June 2, 2022 at 10:45 pm

      Crack ho and drug dealer are still viable career choices for these scholars. For the few, perhaps basketball or rap music will allow them to demonstrate their skillsets to a wider audience.

      Its cruel, how these kids are being stomped down into the underclass by the leftists who pat they nappy lil haids and pronounce all their failures to be the fault of white supremacy.

amatuerwrangler | June 2, 2022 at 7:33 pm

Employers will soon have to give “achievement tests” to applicants for jobs, tests aimed at the grade level needed to fill a particular job. Any document showing completion of traditional grade levels will be worthless.

If 60-odd years ago they had eliminated the negative impact of not completing assignments, skipping class or being late I would have had a truly awesome GPA. And it probably would not have changed my life at all…

    henrybowman in reply to amatuerwrangler. | June 2, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    “Employers will soon have to give “achievement tests” to applicants for jobs, tests aimed at the grade level needed to fill a particular job.”

    There’s a company called Wonderlic that’s been filling exactly this gap for over 50 years.

    randian in reply to amatuerwrangler. | June 2, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    Employers will soon have to give “achievement tests” to applicants for jobs

    But they can’t, because blacks fail such tests at notably higher rates than whites and asians. The test has to either be so easy as to be worthless, or be outsourced to a third party i.e. colleges. That’s one reason the rot of credentialism abounds in corporate America. You can’t test competence, you can only see if they have a credential.

The Gentle Grizzly | June 2, 2022 at 7:34 pm

Just another variation on a theme of “you n1663r5 are too helpless and stupid to make it on your own” from the Democrats.

When I taught high school, the kids’ grades were only permanently recorded twice a year at the end of first and second semesters, but the kids received interim grade reports at the end of 1st and 3rd terms. It was school policy to record anyone who had failed at midterm’s grade as a 50. At first I balked at it, but it was pointed out to me if a kid received a grade lower than a 50 at midterm, it was near impossible to get his grade into a passing range by the end of the term. Even if he earned an A, the highest grade he could get was a C. To keep kids bothering to come to class, there needed to be a possibility of at least getting a D.

In all the years I taught, only one kid who was “gifted” with the 50 ever pulled out a D. But none of the kids could ever say the school had stacked the deck against him. It was worth compromising my own sense of fairness for the end result. If this is what the school is proposing, then
they’ll find out it makes no difference, too.

    henrybowman in reply to elliesmom. | June 2, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    “Even if he earned an A, the highest grade he could get was a C. To keep kids bothering to come to class, there needed to be a possibility of at least getting a D.”

    Something in there is not what you meant to say.

      highest grade was a C
      possibility was a D

      Dathurtz in reply to henrybowman. | June 2, 2022 at 10:28 pm

      If the kid had a 25% halfway through the semester, they check out and become disruptive because there is absolutely no way they can pass. That school decided to award a 50% as the lowest grade at the first half of the semester because it (theoretically) encourages kids to do better in the second half because they could now pass with a modified grade.

      I don’t really like it, but an awful lot of schools do that or something similar.

    I had a CS teacher in college who taught a course with absolutely *brutal* tests. *Nobody* could possibly score a 100% without a second brain and a fully-automatic machine pencil. We had students at the end of the class with 50% who still passed with a C. It was great. You could bomb a test, fireball a homework assignment, but if you knew your stuff and managed to get a reasonable score on the mid-term and final, you could still get an A.

    On the other hand, if you struggled with math (like I did) and were too blasted stubborn to buy a programmable calculator for Taylor and McLaurin series calculation (raises hand again), you were doomed to repeat it. On the fourth time through, I swallowed my idiotic pride and bought one of the most sensible programable calculators I could find (that didn’t use that abomination of RPN). Still only got a B, but that’s one *proud* B.

And, somewhere, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. smiles.

“”They can no longer be docked for missing class, misbehaving in school or failing to turn in their assignments, according to the plan.””

They don’t have to show up, they don’t have to turn in any assignments, and they aren’t subject to discipline. We used to call that “Summer Vacation”.

And, in order to be completely consistent with the school administrators’ staunch commitment to equality of mediocrity and the rejection of merit-based achievement and advancement, the school will be appropriately renamed “Harrison Bergeron High School.”

We’re familiar with the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” a phrase coined by Bush II’s Education Secretary, Rod Paige, to aptly describe how Dumb-o-crats’ racist paternalism and low standards set for black and Hispanic students comprise an undeniably racist ethos and attitude.

We now can refer to the “soft bigotry of no expectations.”

The Oak Park River Forest High School should have been more inclusive
. An inclusive school would be ‘Oak Park River Forest Mountain High School’

competency-based grading

Isn’t that what teachers are already supposed to do? You know, tests, homework, and the like. Then what the heck is this? I suspect competency isn’t on the same planet as whatever this means.

    Dathurtz in reply to randian. | June 2, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    The idea there is that you pass/fail based on whether you can demonstrate a set of skills or demonstrate understandings of topics. It does not include things like class/home work, participation in activities/discussions.

They aren’t using race as a grading criteria, they are just allowing the members of a certain race, which shall remain nameless, to get preferential treatment in grading. What a convoluted racist bunch of bigots. Can you imagine hiring one of these ‘youts’ for some important job after they skated through school relying on their race to get them grades equal to the kids that studied hard to succeed. It’s kind of like the racial equivalent of men dominating women’s sports.

    texansamurai in reply to TimothyJ. | June 3, 2022 at 8:49 am

    or if music were essential to survival (as is medecine or engineering), handing a violin to a chimp with the expectation of hearing mozart–though rational people know is an insane premise, we’re going to do it anyway and it’s going to be hype-rexpensive in the process

    either fix the schools and reallign them with their original purpose or close them

      Ummm, the original purpose of “public schools” was to create a compliant, orderly class of worker with enough knowledge to do their job well and maybe innovate, but not to cause disruption to society. It is called the “Prussian Model”.

      American “public schools” were created by Progressives for Progressive purposes.

Pepsi_Freak | June 3, 2022 at 4:48 am

Snopes (if you can trust them) says this is bogus:

teacher in va | June 3, 2022 at 7:01 am

The original article about the policy misses the target.

This type of grading reform is taking place everywhere. It is MOTIVATED BY a desire to minimize difference in outcomes, but the grading proposals themselves don’t need to refer to race at all. Attacking the proposals as “race-based” will fail. They will simply say (as they did here) that the proposals are for all students.

These proposals should be attached on their merits. No negative consequences for work not turned in creates an incentive to… (duh)… not turn in work! No zeros creates an incentive to game each assignment (I’d get a 65 for this amount of effort.. but doing nothing will get me a 50!). It will disproportionately harm the students it claims to help.

Removing behavior and attendance from grading criteria makes some sense (we should be grading on mastery not behavior), but that assumes behavior and attendance will be EFFECTIVELY addressed by the admin which would require big budget increases (maybe the point?).

But again, by all means oppose this, but as soon as you say it’s all about race (even if that was the motivation), it gives them an easy way to dodge the question of whether it’s good policy. It’s like saying CRT is taught in the schools as opposed to CRT-influenced instruction is applied in the schools.

China and India both approve.

Let’s just continue to reinforce negative behaviors and wonder why racial differences exist. Why continue to perpetuate lower performance standards for black students? Insane!

texansamurai | June 3, 2022 at 8:51 am

sorry for the misspells–wearing gloves–mea culpa

Let’s be clear what the Democrat message is: blacks are too stupid to get photo ID and too stupid to compete with whites, hispanics and asians.

So how was a black president elected? How did black justices get on the Supreme court? Why are blacks allowed to hold chairs of legislative committees?

Stupid is as STUPID DOES…just looks at obOzO de zerO( I kno), klipzingerdolt, ducknotworthafart, blogoabitch, ryan, madigan &(I only cap, IF I respect). BUT the list continues…OH! wait! then there is lightnahead. I’ll stop now….OUT

Capitalist-Dad | June 3, 2022 at 10:00 am

Love the euphemism “certain students” (assumes the Deplorables are too dumb to figure out it means blacks). So if teachers can’t adjust grades for tardiness, missing school, failure to turn in assignments, misbehavior (obviously what the wokesters believe is black behavior), what these racists are really saying is, “Blacks are shiftless,”—just like segregationist Democrats of the past.

Insufficiently Sensitive | June 3, 2022 at 10:54 am

They can no longer be docked for missing class, misbehaving in school or failing to turn in their assignments, according to the plan.

In short, they’re being graded for existing. I hope all the sniveling cowards in the committees who ginned up those ‘standards’ for matriculation are legally required to obtain henceforth all their medical and dental treatments from ‘graduates’ of schools applying those exact standards.

And yes, Universities are striving for the same thing, to beef up the racial statistics of their ‘graduates’.

If they are working hard to produce a predetermined outcome, why waste everyone’s time with school?

No one is demanding equity in Baltimore schools because they have it.