Growing up, homework was a dreadful task. As a teenager, I recall returning home from school with a mountain of homework, papers, and reading materials that I needed to complete before the following day. Despite having to balance other responsibilities like chores and after-school jobs, I still managed to get all my work done. This juggling of tasks and mental stamina prepared me for adulthood, both with my jobs and higher education. However, there has been a shift in some school districts that prioritize a more holistic learning approach based on equal outcomes and overall understanding, resulting in fewer homework assignments. But is this new approach helpful or harmful to the next generation? There has been debate on this topic, and in this article, two educators weigh the good and bad effects of the evolution of education.
Equitable grading, a new form of grading, has been adopted in several school districts across the country. This grading system measures a student’s knowledge of classroom material at the end of a term without any penalties for behavioral issues such as late assignments, spotty attendance, and poor assessment performance. The concept behind the equitable grading system is to minimize homework and provide students with multiple chances to complete tests and assignments that they didn’t perform well on initially or did not turn in. Although this grading system has been adopted in several states, it has also faced controversy, particularly due to the grading scale starting at 50%, which guarantees every student a minimum of 50%, regardless of their attendance, assignments completed, or performance on end-of-course exams.
According to Joe Feldman, the author of Grading for Equity, equitable grading aims to eliminate institutional bias and racial disparities in education. He argues that “grading practices must counteract institutional biases that have historically rewarded students with privilege and punished those without.” However, this message is concerning, given the implicit suggestion that students from lower-income families or minority demographics lack the ability to perform well in school. Furthermore, Feldman emphasizes that grading must not reward or punish but teach students the connection between means of learning and the ends, which involves improving a student’s learning rather than how many points the teacher doles out.
Despite Feldman’s intentions, the equitable grading system has faced criticism for not being equitable at all. The system hurts children from all backgrounds and does not help anyone except teachers unions, special interest groups, and DEI contractors who profit from these bad ideas. When the grading scale starts at 50 out of 100, and students have unlimited attempts to take tests and no repercussions for late assignments or tardiness, the goal is to obfuscate the fact that public education has nothing to do with education. Additionally, passing grades will skyrocket because it takes little to no work to pass, which is an appealing solution for a system that is uninterested in actual education.
The blame for the declining academic performance of students cannot be placed on any one factor—however, the Covid-19 school closure policies were designed to protect teachers unions instead of children, as Randi Weingarten and Becky Pringle have shown. Due to students missing out on in-person learning, test scores have plummeted, and America’s youth has become less educated. Additionally, 70% of public schools have seen an increase in students seeking mental health services since the pandemic, indicating that remote learning and school closures have taken a significant toll on America’s youth.
In conclusion, initiatives like equitable grading, transformative SEL, critical race theory, and removing advanced courses are all part of the same ugly pig, just with a different shade of lipstick. They are not meant to help anyone of any consequence but merely to disguise the failures of those charged with educating our children. As Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice described Randi Weingarten, “She’s an arsonist that pretends to be a firefighter.” The longer we let Big Education bureaucrats throw lit matches on our future, the more our children will suffer.