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What The "F" Is Goin' On Around Here?

A quick rant..

The public school system in the U.S. is quite the quagmire. "No Child Left Behind", a product of fake and faulty bi-partisanship between President Bush and Ted Kennedy, is a confusing, lumpy mess, kind of like, well, Ted Kennedy after a few pops of Bushmills.

It comes as no surprise, then, as to what is occuring in Grand Rapids, Michigan, under the nanny-state guidance of one Superintendent Bernard Taylor.

Superintendent Bernard Taylor has seen fit to institute a no "F" policy. That's right. No one can fail under the watchful eyes of Superintendent Bernard Taylor. Instead of receiving the mentally stressing "F" for a failing grade, the student will now be graded a friendly "H", which stands for "Held".

"Held" means that if a student does so poorly in a subject, poorly enough that he/she/it would otherwise receive an "F" as a final grade, that student now has been given until the next trimester to "make up" for their lackluster performance. If, after the extra twelve weeks, they still cannot manage to push their grade up to the equally esteem-shattering mark of D-minus, then, and only then, will they receive a "failing grade", which has yet to be defined.

As I recall, back in my day, I was once on the verge of failing a class (English, if you're interested to know.). This occurred for a variety of reasons, but mainly I just loathed my teacher (Ms. Lomell. A woman with a very crusty personality.). The principle called me and a handful of others into his office to warn us of the prospect of failure, and it scared the hell out of me. I studied my rump off for the next 3 days, aced our last test, and squeaked out a D.

If an "H" was the worst I knew I could get, I probably would never have put in the effort for many of my classes, and I suspect many of my contemporaries would have felt the same way.

Perhaps the only thing worse than giving a student the grade "H" would be to give out money for doing well academically. I never thought I'd see the day when that would happen, but, then came yesterday, and I read this sort of "grade bribery" has been occurring in places like Ohio, New York, and our nation's capital (that's Washington, D.C. for anyone who may have received an "H") for years.

Used to be the reward for doing well in school was the actual accomplishment of getting a good grade. Now, you either get a warm and fuzzy "H", or you get paid to learn.

I guess we could call it the "Skool Kidz Bale-owt Akt of 2008".

By Shawn Mallow


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Comments (11)

Come on now, we don't want ... (Below threshold)

Come on now, we don't want poor Johnny or Jill to lose their self-esteem, would we? Do we really want to raise our kids with the out-dated notion that there are consequences? I'm sure with The Chosen One in office we will soon elevate our society to one entirely built on the concept of "no-fault". Hell, we're half way there now.

This is just the continuati... (Below threshold)

This is just the continuation of liberal ideology that "personal responsibility" is something to be avoided. It's on full display with company bailouts, mortgage bailouts, and now car maker bailouts...no one is going to fail because it not their fault.

I remember in my senior year of high school, my english teacher Mrs. Hayes taught me a lesson. She gave me an "F" because as she put it, I have the capability and intelligence to do well, with this "F" you now have incentive to finish strong or repeat the class. I finished her class with an "A" in the next semester and an "A" on the final exams. To this day I thank her for teaching me that if I want to become successful, I AM THE ONE WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IN THAT SUCCESS.

What has happened to our society since those times is reprehensible...but it IS liberal ideology that has lead to this era of "no responsibility".

Let thos kids fail, and realize they are the ones who will determine what their futures hold: Slack off and just get by or work hard and be successful in what you choose to do.

I always thought the whole ... (Below threshold)

I always thought the whole point of giving an "F" was to make them feel bad. I always avoided F's because I knew that no matter how bad it made me feel - my parents would make it feel worse.

absolutely correct -- My ki... (Below threshold)

absolutely correct -- My kids went to a small-tiny-private catholic school--and a public high school--the high school was not bad--but my children had their foundation and were able to carry that thru -- Kentucky does actually give money for grades-- in the form of higher education scholarship money--and that has motivated my children to take the tough classes--retake the ACT and work to maintain a 3.0 gpa and higher to keep the money from the state---

F is an f--which stands for FLUNK! H still stands for Flunk and at our public high school--D is the lowest grade--and still stands for Flunk!! So....bottom line--we can make the grades "politically correct' but they still stand for FLUNKED!!!!

Mackin is absolutely correc... (Below threshold)
chsw Author Profile Page:

Mackin is absolutely correct. My dad would spank me when I brought home a poor report card in elementary school. Once did it; brought home good report cards after that.


An "F", by any other name, ... (Below threshold)

An "F", by any other name, is still an "F". http://rightklik.blogspot.com/

Theres <a href="http://www.... (Below threshold)

Theres good news on the horizon.

chsw, you should have gotte... (Below threshold)

chsw, you should have gotten a fruitcake lawyer and sued your parents for abuse, civil rights denial, mental anguish......etc.

My kids will never set foot... (Below threshold)

My kids will never set foot inside a government school again. They attend a private christian co-operative/home school education program where there is no hesitation to award an "F" for poor school performance.

And I used to stress out wh... (Below threshold)

And I used to stress out when I was bringing home a "C". My how things have changed.

The whole idea of paying kids actual money to do well in school is wrong. The right thing to do would be to offer opportunities for other things when they do well, rather than cash. It's like paying a kid to make their bed. My parents made it clear that no one was going to pay me to make my bed when I grew up, but if I did indeed make my bed daily, they'd give me the opportunity to do "extra" work that I could get paid for. And guess what I did? I made my bed.

This is nothing new. In my ... (Below threshold)

This is nothing new. In my school it was R ("repeat") instead of F. A grade that implies an actual consequence (held or repeat) might carry more weight than just a letter. What's more motivating to a high schooler? "You failed 10th grade" or "You're going to be held in 10th grade while all of your friends move on"?






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