Our public school systems are failing our children in a myriad of ways. The new trend in public education in the greater DC area is to rid the system of failing grades. Instead of the failing students receiving an F, they now will receive a I(ncomplete). The grade of I will allow the students to then go back and finish up projects and to receive a grade.
Call me crazy, but I thought one of the purposes of an education is to prepare our young for the real world. I don't know about you, but I have never had a job that told me "don't worry about the fact that you didn't finish your work, just get back to it when you feel like it." Or, better yet; "Oh, you did this assignment completely wrong, but hey just take the weekend to do it again, don't worry about the fact that we just lost our biggest client." This is the lesson that these kids are learning.
I have heard many, like Glenn Beck, say that we shouldn't be giving out prizes to all kids. That I don't really have a problem with when they are very young. I don't see an issue giving four year-olds on a T-Ball team a ribbon at the end of the season. But, we have to draw the line long before they get to high school. I guess this the part of the slippery slope.
"It more or less says all the hard work I'm doing isn't going to be worth anything," 16 year old student at West Potomac High.The liberals of the world talk about "fairness" all the time. How exactly is rewarding a student who cannot be bothered to do the work on time fair? Now, I am not one to throw out the concept of fairness easily. I don't think that the world is fair, nor do I believe that it can be made so. But, I do think that adults showing children that they can be rewarded for being irresponsible is very wrong, indeed. It is also a very poor lesson for the children who work hard and do the assignments on time. They are being given a backhanded lesson that they skim on their work and it just won't matter.
These kids are going to have to go out into the real world at some point. In the real world we don't have bosses that don't care if you are not doing your assigned responsibilities in a timely fashion. This also is not preparing for them for the college level either. It is time that we stop babysitting these kids and start teaching them how the real world works. You will be required to do your work correctly and on time. If you are unable to you have to step up and take responsibility for your mistakes and your tardiness. The real world isn't interested in your excuses. They simply are not going to care that you went to some high school that decided coddling students is an effective way of getting them passing grades.
The one bright spot in the article that I read is that the teachers are mostly against this policy. Now, the plan is that the teachers will be offering additional hours to work with the kids who have the I's to help them learn the curriculum. So the administrators have basically added additional work hours to these teachers. Can we guess how long it takes the unions to get involved in this matter? Which in this case I would have to say that I agree with them. The teachers shouldn't be forced to work additional hours or weekends because of some boneheaded idea that administrators have put into place. Let them work on weekends if they feel so strongly that this system will work. This system was originally put into place at the lower level grades. Even the "grading expert" who put this into place says this program being done at the high school level is unusual.
This is just one more example of how we are dumbing down our society and teaching our children that they do not need to be responsible for themselves and that their actions don't have consequences. We need to teach our kids that setting the bar high is a good thing. Striving for something is a good thing. We also need to teach our kids that world is a competitive place. Instead, in the greater DC area, we are teaching our kids that laziness will be rewarded. Not a lesson that I want a school system teaching kids.
One of the worst things about this policy is that the parents were not even notified of the change until the end of October. Many of the parents are very opposed to the changes. A group has been formed to combat this policy; Real World, Real Grades. One of the questions that must be asked is what happens when these kids that took the same test four times to get a better grade get to college? What this system is really doing is setting them up to fail. It is time that we let go of the "feel good" policies that are taking over our school systems and teach our children that hard work has its own rewards.