A silly idea
Palm Beach County schools have already scrapped the A to F grading system for elementary schools. Currently this is also under consideration for middle schools also.
So what is the school board proposing. A numbering system from 1 to 3. 3 meaning a student is at grade level or above, 1 and 2 for different amounts of being below grade level.
Ann Robinson a very misguided school board member sees this as a good idea. She says this will be better than the traditional system. Ms. Robinson citing an A doesn't mean a student is doing above average work in a class. Another reason cited is this system is used in some other school systems, like Detroit. We all know how good those schools are.
I blogged about this once before, and my opinion hasn't changed. This is an idiotic and foolish idea. What the hell is a 3 supposed to mean? What's wrong with the old grading system. The case Ms. Robinson cites is wrong if true, the student don't deserve an A. So why scrap this traditional grading system? It's bureaucratic lunacy pure and simple.
I even found myself mostly in agreement with a Palm Beach Post editorial from Saturday.
The main complaint from parents, however, is that the 3-2-1 system by itself has no way to recognize achievement above grade level. If that sounds like a complaint from pushy parents, does the district want to encourage overachievement or underachievement? Some school board members have suggested adding a number 4. But that solution simply would make the number grades more like letter grades so parents could understand them. Why not do what's simpler? For elementary schools, keep the letter grades and the number grades.
No I think it's a dumb idea whatever the grade a student is in. With ideas like these, do you ever wonder why our schools are so abysmal?