When we were young, students received grades ranging from A to F. Any grade of A, B, or C was considered a passing grade. A D or a F showed you were failing and needed to put in more effort to raise your grade or you would have to repeat the course.

Not everyone is pleased with the grading system modification that California school districts have made. Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and Santa Ana are just a few of the school districts that want to gradually eliminate grades D and F, leaving just passing grades. As a result, teachers can’t fail a pupil.

Here’s how it might develop. There’s a project due. If a student submits it late or not at all, they should receive a failing grade. Up until the student receives a passing grade, the teacher provides the student another chance to complete the work. Tests are the same way. Projects are the same way. A student receives an incomplete rather than a failing mark if they never finish an assignment, test, or project.

The revised grading procedure is needed, according to its proponents, especially in light of the pandemic that kept the majority of California pupils at home for more than a year. They think that the new grading scheme would encourage kids to be enthusiastic about studying rather than fear failure. By giving students a second opportunity, they claim, they are judging the pupils on what they have actually learned rather than excessively emphasizing exam scores. They refer to the grading system as “mastery learning.”

On the other hand, some contend that dropping failed grades simply harms the kids. Leo Terrell, a contributor to FOX News, believes that mastery learning is offensive and “racial.” He explained, “This Democratic leftist woke culture has basically destroyed any incentive to do well, and the insult is that it’s directed at Blacks and brown kids – that we need some type of special help. It’s insulting.” He added, “It targets kids based on skin color. It’s racist, and I find that offensive.”

Eliminating failing grades, in Terrell’s opinion, “is a recipe for failure.” He explained, “When the rubber hits the road, and when they go to graduate school, medical school, law school? They won’t be able to compete.” He continued, “The smart parents are going to take their kids out of public school, go to private school, and they’re going to be facing the best and the brightest.”
Not only Terrell, but others also oppose mastery learning. At St. Theresa School, a Catholic school in Oakland, Debora Rinehart teaches math and science. She explained, “I will never lie about [students’] knowledge level. Not reporting ‘D’s and ‘F’s is the equivalent of lying about a student’s progress.”
Do you believe that removing failing grades from public schools is a good or terrible idea? If you knew you couldn’t get a failing mark, how motivated would you be to learn in school? Would you be more or less motivated?