Local CA school board takes on racist grading

California is continuing its fight against perceived systemic racism.

Fox News reports that the San Diego school district is overhauling what officials claim to be a racist grading system. 

The cause

The changes appear to be based on some statistics.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “District data have shown that Black, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander high school students are significantly more likely to be given D and F grades.”

That data shows that black students received a D or an F 20 percent of the time, Hispanic students, 23 percent. White students, on the other hand, only receive a D or an F seven percent of the time, and Asian students, six percent.

The change

Apparently, officials looked at these numbers, and, more or less, concluded from them that they are the result of racism. Now, they have come up with a way to fix this.

Officials in San Diego developed a new grading system that will not take into account such things as late work and classroom behavior. They say that these are non-academic factors, and thus, shouldn’t be factored into a student’s grade.

The Tribune reports, “Experts, teachers, and students have said that including non-academic factors into grades and not giving students second chances to learn or make progress can contribute to unfair disparities in grades.”

A “reckoning”

These changes were approved unanimously by the San Diego school board last Tuesday. Richard Barrera, the vice president of the San Diego Unified School District, described the changes as an “honest reckoning.”

“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,” Berrera said. “I think this reflects a reality that students have described to us and it’s a change that’s a long time coming.”

This new grading system will be implemented over the remainder of this school year and the following one, and it will mostly impact students in San Diego middle schools and high schools.

The obvious result of this change will be good grades for everyone. But, the question, of course, is whether these good grades will, as they ought to, reflect merit? History tells us that legislating for equal outcomes, rather than equal opportunities, simply doesn’t work.

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