No D’s allowed

Youth Specialties
August 8th, 2010

No D's Allowed

As an earner of D's in high school, this story rubbed me the wrong way.

The way the Mount Olive school district sees it, its students should not be getting by with D’s on their report cards, either. This fall, there will no longer be any D’s, only A’s, B’s, C’s and F’s.

“D’s are simply not useful in society,” said Larrie Reynolds, the Mount Olive superintendent, who led the campaign against D’s as a way to raise the bar and motivate students to work harder. “It’s a throwaway grade. No one wants to hire a D-anything, so why would we have D-students and give them credit for it?” link

I get the rhetoric. I really do. But I wonder if this new policy will have the results that school board is seeking or will this merely lower the overall bar for what is now a C? (70%) When more students begin to fail classes and poitical pressure mounts to see more Mount Olive students graduate, will the school board say that 65% is now a C? Worse, are teachers going to feel that pressure and make it easier to get more students to graduate?

It seems to me that the no D policy includes the idea that every student needs to master every skill in order to graduate from high school. Hogwash. This policy seems to devalue the idea that individual students have different aptitudes, skills, or even academic desires. 

As a high school junior, I got a D in AP trigonometry. I remember looking at my report card and seeing A's in English, U.S. History, and Physics. But that D in Trig told me something… I suck at math. A few weeks later I got my ACT results which included a 19 in math and low-30s in everything else. This confirmed it for me– I'm not dumb, I just need to pursue something that involves writing. 

Do you think eliminating the D from report cards will have the intended results for this school district?

Youth Specialties

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