A plan that can’t fail? Calif. schools ditching failing grades D and F

School grading is a simple concept: Do the work assigned, well or not so well, or don’t do it at all, and be assigned a letter grade that reflects your performance.

Only California students are scoring too low, and like everything else, it comes down to the color of their skin.

With too many students getting Ds and Fs, California’s largest school districts are trying a novel approach according to Edsource.org: making these letter grades no longer exist.

The logic being that if Ds and Fs no longer exist, you can’t be denied admission to a state university for getting too many of them.

Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified and other districts would give a minimum of a C for high school work, even if it is completely ignored and not done at all. Students who don’t learn enough to pass a final exam, or don’t do their work by the end of the semester, would merely earn an “incomplete.”

The pandemic has placed already floundering and incompetently run public schools into even more of a bind, destroying petrified teaching methods and any kind of academic standards. Districts see abolishing D’s and F’s as the ingenious solution, and as usual are playing the race card, saying that COVID restrictions hit non-white students harder.

Which of course ends any argument.

One school official said that traditional grading needs to give way to what he called a “competency-based system,” which apparently doesn’t mean having enough competence to earn a passing grade. Devin Vodicka, former school superintendent and chief executive of the Learner-Centered Collaborative, said: “The future is going to require less focus on time and more focus on what we can do and contribute, and the quality of our performance. We need to prepare our students for this.”

For some teachers, however, Ds and Fs continue to be important, showing that a student did not learn the material and needs extra help: an important designation and predictor of how well a person might function in a job.


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