As of teacher of 20 years, I was disgusted when seven years ago we were told that students had to be gifted points to enable them to pass (“What’s an ‘F’ worth? There’s no letter of the law,” Oct. 21 Review-Journal). The principal of Spring Valley High School asks if it matters whether students receive a 2 percent or a 58 percent. Well, actually yes.
On a 50-question test, a 58 percent shows the student knew more than half the content and answered 29 questions correctly. A 2 percent means a student answered one whole question correctly. Do we really not see a difference? But gifting the 2 percent student an additional 48 points skews the data and gives the impression students are gaining knowledge that, quite frankly, they do not have. Yet we push them along.
Better yet, a majority of schools enforce 50 percent on assignments that students do not even attempt or turn in at all. I hope if these students eventually get jobs, their employers will pay them at least half of their wages if they do not show up for work or do any work. Otherwise, the real world may “hurt their feelings” or be “degrading” to them.
No need to hold students accountable. Let’s just pad the passing rates — even if they are learning nothing in a class — and continue to push them on. The results on our college readiness tests show our students are not prepared. Hmmm? I wonder why?