The policy allowing failed test scores to be thrown out is just one of several changes to the grading policy that went into effect at the start of this school year.
Other grading policies include:
• For elementary and middle school students, only homework grades "that raise a student's average" will be recorded.
• Students must be given one opportunity to turn in homework assignments that weren't finished on time.
• Parents must be contacted before a teacher records a zero in the grade book.
Of course, this is all done with what could be loosely termed "good intentions".
The new policies were put in place because Dallas has one of the highest dropout rates in the state of Texas.
A small committee of administrators and teachers wrote the new grading policy. The goal, they say, is to keep kids in school and prevent them from getting discouraged and dropping out.
"What we're really interested in is 'Are the children learning?' and if they're not, we need intervention immediately. This system does that," said Jerome Garza, a district school board trustee.
Evidently under the theory that children will get smarter merely by your inflating their grades and ignoring their bad work.
Basic rule of thumb, Mr. Garza: mistakes that are ignored invariably are repeated. When your poor dear cherubs reach the working world, people are not going to be amused by their belief that, if they are late to work, it means that the starting time is wrong and needs to be moved backwards.
If someone does not have the skills or education to receive a high school diploma, they should not get one. When it comes to educational standards, you should be raising the students to them, instead of the exact opposite.
But then again, what can we expect, when you and yours on the committee who drafted this abomination think that 48% attendance constitutes full participation?