COVID CREDIT: Durham Public Schools to Hand Out Only A’s for End-of-Course Exams

DURHAM – Durham Public Schools System is giving out the ultimate participation trophy this year. Because of Pandemic Panic leading to shutting down in-person instruction throughout the county, and because remote online instruction is woefully inferior in actually educating students, the district came up with the masterful solution to merely give every student an A instead.

From the News & Observer:

“Durham Public Schools is guaranteeing all students an A on their state-mandated final exams this semester.
The school board approved an adjusted grading scale of 90 to 100 for all End-of-Course and Career and Technical Education exams. Last week’s vote followed the State Board of Education giving local districts the option to weigh exam scores differently this year, Durham school board Chair Bettina Umstead said.
The N.C. Department of Public Instruction uses EOC exams to measure a student’s knowledge in four subjects: Math 1, Math 3, English II and Biology. […]
“We want to honor the work that students have done so far and recognize that we are in unprecedented times,” Umstead said.
In a memo in November, state board Chair Eric Davis told superintendents they could use their “own derived 0 to 100 scale” for both exams.
Students can take the tests during the spring and up until the beginning of July, Davis wrote. However, if students choose to wait, they will receive an “incomplete” for the course in the mean time. […]
Offered to make their own 0-100 scale, and Durham chooses A’s for everybody, a real nod to equity we supposed.
Students that studied hard and know the material? A

Students that did next to nothing and would have failed miserably? A

Students that need actual instruction to learn these core teachings before progressing to the next grade? A, and a no-qualification-required promotion to even harder material despite your struggles. You’re welcome.

There. Fixed it. Now everybody is an A student.

Now, obviously, the enormous gaps in education for these kids are not the kids’ fault. That blame falls squarely on groups like the Durham Teachers Association for holding the kids’ instruction hostage to radical political demands like Medicaid expansion and stimulus payments to illegal immigrants. It’s their fault.

Our EOC’s are actually predicated on a certain number of days per year of face-to-face instruction. And we have not had that because of the pandemic,” Republican DPI Superintendent-elect Catherine Truitt told The N&O.

But are really doing these students a favor by turning every would-be ‘F’ into an ‘A’? Or is it a convenient way for the administrators to paper over their own policy failures that have demonstrably harmed the kids’ education?

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