As a retired teacher, I read with interest the new grading changes being considered by the Denton school district. I concur with the beliefs and practice statements in the document. Some are: All students can learn; students learn in different ways; and students learn in different time frames.
But I strongly disagree with the section regarding the grading practices: Grades will not be inflated or deflated for nonacademic behaviors, grades will not be reduced for failure to meet deadlines and zeros will not be used to indicate missing or incomplete work. The document states that the fore-mentioned do not represent a student’s mastery of the standards.
Is the DISD reducing the education of students to just meeting TEKS or AP/IB course standards? Isn’t education much more? Don’t we want to develop in our students’ good reasoning and judgment skills?
And what about expectations and accountability? What kind of model will be created if students are not held accountable for turning their assignments in on time or completing assignments?
These may not be part of course standards, but they certainly are important values of the society of which they will become a part of upon graduation. The colleges/universities/jobs that students enter will require accountability on all these levels.
How well prepared will students be if these expectations are not set as part of the entire learning process and taken into account when grades are being determined?
I think the DISD is doing a major disservice to students by even considering these grading changes.