"Minimum-50" Grade Proposal: Wrong Approach for Colorado
In most math problems, zero would never be confused with 50, but a handful of schools nationwide have set off an emotional academic debate by giving minimum scores of 50 for students who fail….
Their argument: Other letter grades — A, B, C and D — are broken down in increments of 10 from 60 to 100, but there is a 59-point spread between D and F, a gap that can often make it mathematically impossible for some failing students to ever catch up.
“It’s a classic mathematical dilemma: that the students have a six times greater chance of getting an F,” says Douglas Reeves, founder of The Leadership and Learning Center, a Colorado-based educational think tank who has written on the topic. “The statistical tweak of saying the F is now 50 instead of zero is a tiny part of how we can have better grading practices to encourage student performance.”
Hey, it sure sounds good to get half-credit for doing nothing. But I think in the long run it won’t help me to have this kind of policy. I sure hope there aren’t any Colorado school boards that latch on to this idea. Students need truly high standards and high expectations.