No more sliding by with a D?

Filed under: Teens, Day Care & Education

According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, the San Mateo Union High School District, located just South of San Francisco, California, is considering the elimination of the barely-passing grade of D.

School board member Peter Hanley said that students who receive a D have not yet mastered the topic. If this is indeed the case, should they be given a passing grade? The Journal notes that "by eliminating the grade, officials hope the requirements for students will be clear cut."

Not everyone agrees, however. Some teachers see this as being merely cosmetic. "If we remove the D grade, the grade of C will slide down and take over the area previously held by D. In other words, a C now requires 70 percent and a D 60 percent. When the D is removed, the C will fall to 60 percent," said Burlingame High School teacher Kevin Nelson. "Over time, students may earn a higher grade for a lower performance." Superintendent Sam Johnson, on the other hand, feels that teachers should be able to make the switch given adequate support. "We have to trust teachers not to lower the standards. ... We can't just let kids skate through," he said.

Personally, I'm torn. While I do think it will convince some students to straighten up and fly right, I think there are other cases where students who would be happy for a passing D would otherwise fail -- P.E. comes to mind. I think, however, that most kids for whom this would be an issue aren't won't care either way. The question in my mind is, is it better to give those kids a good-enough high school diploma or is it better to have them flunk out without the diploma? What do you think?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.