California’s Cotati-Rohnert Park school district has come up with an innovative way to improve its students’ test scores. They’ve dramatically lowered the bar!
The district recently did away with the standard A - F grading scale, for which 59 percent or lower is failing, and replaced it with what’s known as a equal interval scale. Under the new system, anything above 19 percent is considered passing, while anything above 79 percent is considered an A. The system also stipulates that students who fail to turn in homework or show up for a test be given an automatic 50 percent, which is a solid C.
As you might expect, the new system isn’t going over well with some teachers.
“This is just incomprehensible,” said Lanny Lowery, a high school English teacher in the district. “I don’t have words.”
The English teacher doesn’t have words? He’s either using an idiom, or he’s not a very good English teacher. Let’s assume the former.
However, others feel the new scale allows students who would otherwise give up on passing to stay engaged.
“I would see students in my classroom who for whatever reason, they would see themselves get further and further behind and at some point you would see some give up and check out,” said English teacher Valerie Ganzler. “Having grades that are equal intervals, it is always possible for those kids to catch up.”
Of course, teachers who are against the new system are quick to point out that it sometimes has the opposite effect by encouraging students with passing grades to stop coming to class altogether. James Gregoretti, a middle school math and science teacher, also claims students he would normally fail are now getting C’s.
“This isn’t giving a student hope,” James Gregoretti, a math and science teacher, told the school board in September. “It is lowering standards in order to raise grades.”
(Source: The Press Democrat)