The second largest public school district in California has approved major changes to the grading-scale system in order to fight alleged racism in the classroom.
According to NBC-7, San Diego Unified School District approved major changes to the grading system earlier this week, including a switch to grading students based on mastery of the material instead of on an average grade calculated throughout the year.
Data provided by the school district shows that black students receive a D or an F grade 20% of the time while white students only receive a D or an F grade 7% of the time. Asian students in the district receive them even less often, reports La Jolla Light.
“This is part of our honest reckoning as a school district,” said Richard Barrera, vice president of the SDUSD. “If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years.”
Anti-racism, as popularized by the left-wing author Ibram Kendi, purports that everything should be analyzed in terms of race and disparity. For example, if a school district policy yields worse outcomes for black students than white students, it is racist, and ought be replaced with an “anti-racist” policy — one that can eliminate the disparity.
Under the new grading system, students will also not receive grading penalties for turning in late assignments. Instead of appearing in grades, late assignments would be reflected in a students’ citizenship grade, which reflects behavior, work ethic, effort, and other relevant but non-academic factors at school.
“Our current grading system is working very well for what it was intended to do, and what it was intended to do was to classify students and to put them into categories and basically push them in a certain direction,” said John Lee Evans, president of the school board, reports La Jolla Light.
“We’ve been for too long on this idea where you had a chance, you didn’t succeed, so therefore we’re gonna categorize you as a failure, and your option is to start all over,” said the school board president.
La Jolla Light reports that the new grading standards will be implemented over the course of the next academic year.
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