Well, we go from one Texas Independent School District to another. Tip of the Stetson to Tolewyn for the heads-up.
Frankly, I'm not really sure what to think of this story. Mainly because the subject of the story is so astronomically asinine that I truly have a great deal of difficulty fully wrapping my mind around it.
But, we shall make the attempt anyway.
The Dallas Independent School District has decided that their 20% drop-out rate amongst DISD high school freshmen is a wee bit of a problem and have decided to go about fixing things.
To me, the first step in fixing something is usually to find out why it needs fixing.
In this case, apparently 80% of the DISD 2007 class of freshmen scored below the 40th percentile on the Iowa Test of Educational Development in -- you'll be shocked by this, I know -- reading.
Allow me to illustrate this: in 2007, of each 100 freshmen who took this test, 61 of them read better than four out of every five DISD freshmen.
Yet, 98% of DISD freshmen were graduated from 8th grade the previous year.
Gentle Readers, if you can't get 8 out of each ten of your 9th graders to reach at least the mid-level mediocrity of the 50th percentile in reading -- you have a serious problem on your paws.
Period. Full stop. End of discussion.
So. If I were to attempt to fix this problem, I would find out why these incoming freshmen were unable to read -- yet allowed to graduate -- and institute steps to increase reading ability while refusing to allow illiterate students to advance.
Controversial, I know.
Anyhoo, it is readily apparent that I am not an employee for the Dallas Independent School District, because those worthies have decided that what is required is actually something called "effort-based grading".
And what students really need, are "multiple opportunities to demonstrate that they've mastered class material."
CrankyProf, close your eyes.
Check that -- Cranky, you should probably scoot over to some website with a variety of soft music. And kittens. Lots of kittens.
Under "effort-based grading" if a student turns in homework, and the grade received on said homework would lower the students grade point average -- well, that homework grade does not count. Only homework grades that raise the students GPA are to be recorded.
If a DISD student fails an exam, the teacher MUST allow the student to retake the exam, and the higher of the two grades will be the official grade.
If a DISD student misses a deadline on turning in an assignment, the teacher MUST accept the late assignment with no penalty to the student. If the teacher believes that a penalty for late work is appropriate, that teacher must inform the school principal, who will make the decision as to if a penalty is actually appropriate, and if so, the principal will set the penalty.
No DISD student will receive a grade of zero for any reason, unless the teacher contacts the parents of the student, and efforts made to assist the student in completing the work.
A grade of fifty is the lowest grade that may be recorded in a six weeks average for a DISD student.
How is this fuzzy-bunny, cotton-candy-pink happyland bushwa supposed to prepare student to earn a living?
I hate to tell the idiots running the Dallas Independent School District, but Real Life isn't "effort-based".
This is how Dallas prepares our children to compete in the marketplace? In the Global marketplace?
By teaching them that there are no penalties for cocking about? By teaching them that half-arsing a project is just as good as making the effort to do it right the first time?
Several million Chinese children and almost as many Indian children are being taught to excel, taught to succeed, taught to win -- and this is our response?
Why are the citizens of Dallas allowing their DISD superintendent to teach their children to fail?
And why has he not been burned in effigy on the DISD HQ front lawn?
Can someone tell me this?