Out in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Sunrise Park Middle School is the most recent of many schools to change its entire grading system in what they call the name of combating “systemic racism.”
As explained in a YouTube video, the middle school has officially announced that it would be eliminating the “F” grade.
“Our whole intent is to ensure that grades focus on the process of learning,” stated Christina Pierre, the principal, as part of the video, as reported by Fox News. “Therefore, grades will not include behaviors, attitude, tardiness to class, whether the assignment was turned in late or on time. There’s other ways that we can communicate those things to parents.”
Norman Bell, the school’s associate principal, went on to add that all of the students would be encouraged to retake their tests and quizzes and to revise their papers and projects within 10 days of all grades being posted.
As stated by Fox News, the website for the school references that an “equity audit” had taken place and found “grading disparities among students of color,” reported the news outlet.
“Grading can be one of the largest areas in which systemic racism and inequities are perpetuated. Dr. Kazmierczak and WBLAS believe grades should be a measure of what a student knows and has mastered in a given course. Grading should not be a behavior punishment and should not be a measure of how well a student can survive stress at home,” states the website.
The move to not use the “F” grade by Sunrise Park is very similar to the brand new grading policies seen out in Clark County, Nevada. Clark County is yet another school system that went on to eliminate the “F” grade, changing it to a “W” to indicate that students are “working on standards below grade level.” Students in the 6th-12th grade could instead get a “P” for “Passing (to be used for specific courses designated by the Academic Unit.)”
Just like Sunrise Park, the new policy in Clark County also says that “Grades shall not be influenced by behavior or other nonacademic measures (e.g., late or missing assignments, attendance, participation, responsibility).”
After a series of harsh critiques and backlash in response to the new grading policy, Jesus Jara, the Clark County School District Superintendent, put forth statements in defense of the policies, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Jara stated that the policy promoted equity, which is just the latest hot word from progressives that don’t want to use equality because equity refers to the outcomes instead of the opportunities.
“Over the summer, the school board voted to change the district’s grading policy. It will allow students to revise assignments and retake tests, and will eliminate some behavioral factors like attendance and participation from grades,” stated the Review-Journal. “But some have opposed the changes, saying they lower standards for students.”
Jara stood firm in her stance, going on to insist that these new policies do not lower standards.