Grade Suppression: Making Public Education, um, “Great” again

I caught this little gem buried deep in a story reporting on a recent Robeson County board of education meeting:

[…] In other business, the school board:

[…] — Approved a grade suppression policy. Under the policy certain eligible students can retake a course in which they did poorly. If they get a better grade the second time around, the first grade is suppressed and the student receives the second grade as the final grade for that course.[…]

Mulligans are frowned upon on the golf course, but now they are A-OKAY in the classroom?

This looks like a naked, brazen attempt to artificially inflate “student performance” statistics to keep the DC and Raleigh cash spigot open and flowing.

I’ll never forget the time an assistant coach with a regional college basketball powerhouse walked into my classroom — at a small area college — with a HUGE kid in tow.  The coach introduced himself to me and introduced the kid.  He told me the kid was here to boost his grades so he could be eligible to play at the assistant coach’s campus.  So, the coach asked me: “You’ll do all you can to help him do well, won’t you?”

I looked the coach right in the eye and said: “if he shows up to class, pays attention, works hard, does his homework, studies, asks questions and participates, he should get a lot out of this class.  He’ll get just what he earns.”

The coach looked at me like I was from Mars.

Anyway, this poor kid could barely read the textbook –despite having a diploma from an actual state-certified high school in North Carolina.  He had no business being in college.  His high school failed him miserably by allowing him to graduate and go out in the world.

We are pumping money by the truckloads into public education.  I think i saw Dan Forest the other day cheering the spending increases approved by legislative Republicans.  In Moore County alone, yearly operating expenses for the public schools have increased by $16 million despite a net enrollment increase of roughly 500.

All of that money invested, so much at stake, and we’re actually going with mulligans?

5 comments for “Grade Suppression: Making Public Education, um, “Great” again

  1. Big Education
    August 10, 2017 at 10:36 am
  2. Big Education
    August 10, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Teachers have done that for years, allow repeat tests. Not sure how many times. August 7th our district just voted to spend $65K+ for an outside company based in Arizona for students to recover course credit via an online program.It is called “High School Credit Recovery.”

    • Brant Clifton
      August 10, 2017 at 10:49 am

      That sounds a little different. That doesn’t sound like making the bad grades “go away.”

  3. patrick
    August 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    it’s simple Grades Suppress Learning the whole system is broken. In medical schools at least on program that I know of does not have grades because they want the medical students to help each other to learn and not to compete against each other in the program. Life is not a letter grade it is pass/fail

    #GoodParentsHomeSchool

  4. August 11, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    This has zero to do with education spending and everything to do with education policy setting.

    There is way more to this — it’s called ‘credit recovery’ and it’s scam that’s been inflating graduation rates in this state for a long time.

    If you want to tear into someone, try the State Board of Education & former Minister of Magic, June Atkinson.

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