You Thought Schools Were Woke Before? Say Hello to ‘Equitable Grading’

equitable grading
Slowking4, GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html>, via Wikimedia Commons

Homework was the worst growing up. I recall coming home from school as a teenager with oodles and oodles of homework, papers, and reading that I needed to complete before the next day. Of course, that was on top of my chores and my after-school job.

Yet I still managed to get my work done. This juggling of tasks and mental capital prepared me for adulthood, both with my jobs and higher education. However, kids are starting to see less homework, all in the name of, you guessed it…equity.

But is this push for a more holistic learning approach based on equal outcomes and overall understanding helping or hurting the next generation of adults? You don’t need to be a former Honor Roll student to know the answer.

Equitable Grading

Some school districts have adopted a new form of grading sold to measure a student’s knowledge of classroom material at the end of a term without any penalties for behavior. What kind of behavior am I referencing?

Late assignments, spotty attendance, and poor assessment performance. Known as “equitable grading,” the concept is to minimize homework and provide students multiple shots to complete tests and assignments that they didn’t perform well on initially or didn’t complete in the first place.

This new method has been adopted in California, Iowa, Virginia, Nevada, and Connecticut school districts. The most controversial aspect of this new initiative is that the grading scale starts at 50% and doesn’t dip below.

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This guarantees every student, at a minimum, a 50 score whether they complete any assignments, show up for class, or perform well on end-of-course exams. Does this sound familiar?

It should be for those from my generation; it’s the academic version of everyone getting a participation trophy.

AKA Systemic Racism

Joe Feldman is the author of Grading for Equity and the brainchild of this terrible idea. Equitable grading aims to eliminate what he dubs “institutional bias” and racial disparities in education.

Mr. Feldman explains:

“Grading practices must counteract institutional biases that have historically rewarded students with privilege and punished those without, and also must protect student grades from our own implicit bias.”

Sound familiar? It should; it’s systemic racism by another name. 

By Mr. Feldman’s theory, if you come from a lower-income family or are from a minority demographic, you lack the ability to show up on time to school, complete assignments, behave in class, and do well on tests. What a message to send a group of children; no matter what you do because of where you live and how you look, you are incapable of success.

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Mr. Feldman goes on:

“Our grading must stop using points to reward or punish, but instead should teach students the connection between means of learning and the ends – how doing homework is valuable not because of how many points the teacher doles out but because those actions improve a student’s learning.”

Because intrinsic motivation is something teenagers have in abundance.

Lipstick On A Pig

There is nothing equitable about this new evaluation system. If anything, it hurts children from all backgrounds. It helps no one except teachers unions, special interest groups, and DEI contractors who profit from these terrible ideas.

When the grading scale starts out at 50 out of 100, and students have unlimited attempts to take tests with no repercussions for tardiness or late assignments, the goal is obvious – obfuscate the fact that the public education system has nothing to do with education. Furthermore, the increase in passing grades will skyrocket under a system like this because it takes little to no work to pass.

This is undoubtedly an appealing solution for a system that is uninterested in actual education. The United States is ranked 9th in reading and 31st in math out of 79 other countries.

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Last year the National Assessment of Education Progress found the following:

  • 40% of all 8th graders are failing basic math concepts
  • 37% of 4th graders are performing below “basic” in reading

Ultimately the results showed the most significant declines in math for 4th and 8th graders ever. So who is to blame for failing grades and the equally failed attempts to adjust for our void in academic fervor? 

Don’t Look At Me!

My whole life, I have scratched my head wondering why people seem to think that teachers unions care at all about children. Instead, their sole motivation is to secure as much political influence as possible and occasionally advocate for the more extreme educators in their cohort.

These union leaders are adept at ensuring you don’t think they are at fault for anything. They can spin any lousy press into a bouquet of excuses and deflection. For example, after the damning results of the national report card, the director of the National Education Association, Becky Pringle, said she was refusing to use the term “learning loss” because “students are always learning.”

Doesn’t that sound so much better? So don’t worry that your kid can’t read or do basic math; as long as they learn something new daily, we can feel good about ourselves – give me a break.

But the best web spinner of them all is my favorite union boss – Randi Weingarten. Yesterday Randi was in the hot seat testifying that her organization, the American Federation of Teachers, didn’t pressure the CDC into adjusting their guidance – they merely answered the request for ideas from the Biden transition team and the CDC.

Ideas, mind you, that kept schools closed and caused irreparable damage to our nation’s youth. 

Dumpster Fire

Thanks to people like Randi Weingarten and Becky Pringle, test scores plummeted, and America’s youth got dumber. Nobody wants to say it, but that’s the truth, our kids are dumber. 

But even worse, they are sadder. The National Center for Education Statistics found that 70% of public schools saw an increased in students seeking mental health services since the pandemic. 

If you think the masterminds of remote learning and school closures aren’t behind initiatives like equitable grading, think again. These social justice jargoned programs aren’t meant to help anyone of any consequence but merely to disguise the failures of those charged with educating our kids.

Whether it’s equitable grading, transformative SEL (social and emotional learning), critical race theory, or removing advanced courses, it’s all part of the same ugly pig, just with a different shade of lipstick.

As Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice described Randi:

“She’s an arsonist that pretends to be a firefighter.”

The question is how long we will let Big Education bureaucrats throw lit matches on our future. What a great essay question that would be for an Advanced Placement course – too bad advanced classes are now racist, and homework is no longer required. 

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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