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Making the Grade

The Cotati-Rohnert Park (Calif.) School District has instituted a new grading policy: students have to score below 20 percent on a test to get an “F” grade. Each 20 points higher goes up one grade, so 20-40 percent is a “D” and 80 or above is worth an “A”. And according to district policy, a student cannot receive less than 50 percent (a “C”) on any test or homework that’s not turned in at all, meaning a student who does poorly on a test can be graded lower than a student who didn’t even turn one in. “This is just incomprehensible. I don’t have words,” said high school English teacher Lanny Lowery, who has taught for 35 years. By making it harder to flunk out, says Superintendent Robert Haley, “they don’t have as much to do mathematically to climb out of the F range.” He says the new policy “doesn’t eliminate the F; it doesn’t lower the bar.” The school board passed the new grading system on a 5-0 vote. (RC/Santa Rosa Press Democrat) ...At least, that’s what was calculated by someone who passed math in the district with a “C”.
Original Publication Date: 22 November 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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