High School Changes Grading Policy to Help Students Avoid F's, But is This Really A Good Idea?

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Students at West Potomac High School in Virginia are experiencing a major change in their grading system. Instead of receiving an "F", they'll receive an "I" standing for "incomplete" and will have the opportunity to pull that grade up...sort of like a "do over."

The thinking is that students who receive an "F", accept that they've failed and move on. The "I" should instead motivate them to keep trying to master the material. While some students can quickly get an A, the new grading system allow other students more time to achieve that same grade.
However, not all teachers, parents, and students are fans of the change. English teacher Mary Mathewson considers failing to be a motivation to work hard and says, "Kids are under the impression they can do [their work] whenever they want to, and it's not that big of a deal."

Sixteen-year-old student Harmain Rafi comments, "It more or less says all the hard work I'm doing isn't going to be worth anything."

Besides changing F's to I's, students who miss assignments or quizzes could receive a "NM." That stands for "no mark" and a student may not have to complete the work if the teacher feels they already understand it.

Do you think it's a good idea to provide students with different paths to getting an A? Does your school do this?



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