You might remember back in March when we reported on a student in the Baltimore City School District who was supposed to graduate in June but learned he was being moved all the way back to the ninth grade. He’d passed three classes in four years of school and had a 0.13 grade point average — which put him 62nd in his class of 120 students … nearly in the top half.

Now we’re learning that Baltimore city schools are adopting a new grading system that will allow tens of thousands of students up to the next grade level despite them having failed classes.

The school district claims the new policy is meant to compensate for the struggles of students during the coronavirus pandemic. Yon Pomrenze reports:

For high school students, a failing grade will be replaced with “No Credit,” and for students in second through eighth grades, an “Unsatisfactory” or “Fail” will be replaced with “Not Completed.”

Students who receive these “incomplete” grades will still be able to continue on to the next grade level.

“In all of these instances, we want to emphasize the word ‘yet’. Not completed yet, no credit yet,” said [Chief Academic Officer Joan] Dabrowski.

Sixty-three percent of middle and high school students are failing at least one class according to Baltimore City Public Schools — that’s nearly 25,000 students out of the nearly 40,000 sixth through twelfth graders in the district.

Even more worrying, 51% of students in grades 2-5 and 37% of Kindergarten and first-graders failed at least one course during this school year.

So the new policy is to focus on the word, “yet”? As in, you’re failing, but we’re not failing you yet?

We read the article, and we’re not sure when the ninth-grade work that led to a failing grade is going to be made up if the student is advanced to tenth grade.

Ackshually … we didn’t all suffer. Quite a lot of school districts stayed open with in-person instruction all last year. People seem to forget that.

How do they explain 25,000 out of nearly 40,000 sixth through twelfth graders in the district failing at least one class?

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