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“Groupthink is the enemy of rigidity … what we define as excellence has become a captive to a certain political agenda,” says Glenn Lowry, an economics professor at Brown University.

Still, in the name of “ending systemic racism,” Sunrise Park Middle School in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, near St. Paul, will no longer give “F” grades to students who put in the lowest quality work. The school has cut only 0 – 49.9 percent in its grading system.

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The new grading system will no longer reflect student behavior or retardation, or whether an assignment was completed on time. The grading, the school’s website reads, perpetuates systemic racism.

After completing a so-called “equity audit” of the school, school districts to assess “gaps in district equity work” to take stock of the school environment, review culturally relevant pedagogy, and evaluate achievement gaps. Improvement comes after a tool is increasingly used by. Discipline inequality.

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Minnesota middle school will eliminate ‘F’ to combat ‘systemic racism’

Sounds good enough, but equity audits align with the tenets of critical race theory, which holds that any disparity in student outcomes is the result of discrimination.

These audits have come in conjunction with an increase in chief diversity officers (CDOs) in K-12 schools and their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) brethren in higher education.

Sunrise Park Middle School isn’t the only one leaving failing grades. This everyone-a-trophy approach to education is also found in high-school math curricula and the phase-out of college entrance exams—all in the name of “equity.”

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The California State Board of Education recently approved the nation’s first statewide ethnic-studies course for K-12 students. The statewide framework sometimes recommends schools’ use of “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction”.

The “Math Equity Toolkit” states that receiving correct answers, requiring teachers to “control the classroom” and students to “show their work”, are all evidence of how math classes maintain “white supremacy.”

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As a result of a settlement agreement, the University of California System’s Board of Regents is dropping the SAT and ACT. The lawsuit claimed that the tests were biased towards minority and low-income students.

Not to go ahead, Oregon lawmakers followed suit shortly thereafter, eliminating math and reading skills test requirements for graduation. As with California, the new law is in service of “more equitable graduation requirements.”

“Grade inflation is a terrible corruption,” Lowry says. In the case of eliminating “Fs” at Sunrise Park Middle School, this inflation does little to help struggling students. It only masks areas where they may struggle academically, pushing them forward when they are unprepared for more rigorous work.

Florida ended the practice, often referred to as social promotion, in the early 2000s. Instead of promoting students to fourth grade when they could not read proficiently, for example, Florida began requiring students to pass a third grade reading test before proceeding to fourth grade.

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In a study of Florida’s retention policy, researchers Marcus Winters and J. P. Green found that “students who lack basic skills, who are socially fostered, appear to lag behind over time, While retaining students are able to capture their skills. There are drawbacks.”

Indeed, the end of Florida’s social promotion, coupled with its strong embrace of school choice, increased reading scores of black students, rising 25 percentage points on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This was more than twice the progress of black students nationally, whose reading scores improved by 12 points during that time. Minority students in Florida began closing the achievement gap, tying or outscoring the statewide reading average for all students in many states.

The end of social propaganda in Florida played a part in these gains, but school choice was thus – if not more likely – resultant in catalysing reforms. The Sunshine State began its tax credit scholarship program in 2001, and now enrolls over 100,000 participating students. Those students, mainly from low-income families, are able to attend a private school of choice that meets their learning needs.

And today, Florida is also home to one of seven innovative Education Savings Account (ESA) programs in the country, which allow families to use their child’s share of public school funding to design a fully customized education for their child. enables.

Florida’s successful approach stood in contrast to awakened districts such as White Bear Lake. As Pelham Union, New York School Board member Ian Rowe writes, “‘Equal results for all’ runs directly in contrast to the justified purpose that each student ‘achieves his full potential in life’.”

Rather than lowering expectations for students through measures such as eliminating “F” grades, states and local school districts should pursue policies that allow students to choose learning environments that meet their unique needs. enables. For their part, districts should focus on helping students meet high academic expectations rather than sweeping problems under the rug.

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