Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Big Stupid Easy

This is sad; very, very sad. The administrators and teachers in this Louisiana school district should be horsewhipped.

Under a new and exceptionally lenient grading policy, high school students in New Orleans' Recovery School District can pass their classes even if their quarterly grades average an "F" for the year.

For example, a student can earn F's in three quarters and a C in one quarter and still pass for the full year. Another way to pass: two D's and two F's, under a policy that educators locally and nationally said falls far below typical standards.

This does not serve the kids or anyone else other than the school officials. All this so they can say that x number of students passed from one grade to the next.

Mathematically, it would be nearly impossible to design an easier standard: The only way to fail a course is by getting F's for all four quarters. That's because the policy calls for rounding up grade-point averages of .5 or higher. If, for example, a student makes two D's and two F's, the .5 grade-point average is automatically raised to a 1.0, or D "average."

Can you image hiring one of these kids?

And even students who fail to meet that reduced standard can still earn credit for one semester: Three F's and one D -- mathematically a .25 average -- earn students a "half credit," meaning they only have to repeat half the course. The state-run Recovery School District, which operates 21 New Orleans public schools, revised the grading policy several weeks ago and said it will apply only to this school year.

And that will prepare them for what? Not the next grade! Failure.

What will their expectations be going into the next grade? Where are the study habits and self discipline that they should be developing?

"These standards are just horribly low -- there is no way to fail. You have to work to fail," said Martin Davis, a senior writer and editor at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based education reform group.

And this is where a liberal education system always fails. Standards are something to be changed as the winds blow. There are always new politically correct issues that supercede the minimum requirements of actually teaching these kids something useful.

It is so pathetic and wrong on so many levels how these teachers and administrators are failing to serve these kids.

No comments: