Woke California school boards have stopped failing students…
If a student fails the test or does not complete their homework, they will be able to retake the test and have more time to complete their assignments.
The idea is to encourage students to study the course material and not fail with a low grade, which could potentially disqualify them from admission to the University of California and California State University.
Students who fail to learn the material, pass the final exam, or complete their homework by the end of the semester will receive an “incomplete”.
“We hope that students will begin to see school as a place of learning, where they can take risks and learn from mistakes, rather than a place of submission,” said Nydia Baez, deputy principal at Fremont High at Oakland Unified.
“Right now, we have a system where we give a million points for a million sheets of paper that students pass without paying much attention to what they are actually learning,” she says.
While advocates of education reform have pushed the idea for years, the pandemic has provided counties with an opportunity to make it a reality.
With many slowly returning to school after a year of distance learning, districts see D and F as a way to help students hardest hit by the pandemic, especially blacks, Hispanics, and low-income students.
But the step is also potentially a step towards a completely different learning system, in which students are assessed on what they have learned, rather than how well they do on a given day or whether they pass their homework on time.
This style, known as competency-based or mastery-based learning, has been a staple of some private and charter schools for many years and is the goal of educational reformers trying to redefine the traditional high school system.
“While traditional assessment may have worked for previous generations, a competency-based system is better suited to the rapidly changing workplaces of the future,” said Devin Wodicka, former Vista Unified Superintendent in San Diego County and CEO of Learner-Centered Collaborative (a non-profit organization that helps counties transition to competency-based learning).
“We need a system that goes beyond the institutional model and provides more meaningful feedback to students,” Vodicka said.
“The future will require less time and more attention to what we can do and how we can contribute, and the quality of our work. We need to prepare our students for this,” he continued.
According to AWM:
Debora Rinehart, a math and science teacher at St. Theresa School, a Catholic school in Oakland, believes that it is important to fail students when their work is poor.
“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. “Not reporting Ds and Fs is the equivalent of lying about a student’s progress.”
Critics of the change in grading policy do not support it because they fear that it will make it too easy for students to succeed while failing to prepare them for the harsh realities of life in America. However, supporters argue that this could be a way to help minority and low-income students who have been struggling during the pandemic. Only time will tell if this change in policy will be beneficial for students.
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