At Parent/Teacher conferences this week we discussed the new Academic Grading scale invoked in School District 719 elementary. We learned that my daughter’s 20 out of 20 on a spelling test is an “M” for Meets Expectations. If perfection is the expectation, then why did the child that got 14 out of 20 also receive an “M”? In this case, as most, an “Exceeds” is not even possible. And for the tests that a student can achieve an “E”, they must apply knowledge that is not part of the curriculum they were taught in class. Please read that sentence again. They must go above and beyond what is taught and are then graded on what they are NOT taught. The only other possible “E” is timed testing. Do you hire the mechanic that tries to fix your car the fastest or the one that takes his or her time to make sure it is done correctly? Like all of this wasn’t enough. Now tack on the fact that a chil! d can have 50 perfect papers, tests or quizzes throughout the year but the final grade will be based on a single final assessment.
“Boosterism” has been a part of the American experience since the opening of the West. In the 19th century, it was about settlement and filling the frontier with farms and towns and turning towns into cities and linking them with railroads.