Friday Ephemera
Two Chaps, One Dog

If We Just Stop Noticing, Everything Will Be Fine

Board members say the changes are part of a larger effort to combat racism.

From the schools of San Diego, some “equity” news:  

Students will no longer be graded based on a yearly average, or on how late they turn in assignments. Those are just some of the major grading changes approved this week by California’s second-largest school district… “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,” says San Diego Unified School District Vice President Richard Barrera.

The practices being confronted – i.e., excluded from consideration in academic grading - include expectations of “turning work in on time” and norms of “classroom behaviour.” Abandoning such standards is, we learn, an “accountability measure.” On grounds that acknowledging tardiness, misbehaviour and a lack of diligence results in “racial imbalance,” which, in the land of the bedlamites, simply won’t do.

Student School Board Member Zachary Patterson, who is also a junior at University City High School, says while some classmates expressed concerns about grade inflation, overall the feedback from his peers is positive.  

A license to disregard normal deadlines and to be selfishly disruptive, all with academic impunity. Why, it’s convenient and morally improving. Mr Patterson, an eleventh-grader who deploys the word inequities with dutiful enthusiasm, informs us, “Students all across the district are excited about this.”

After Patterson expressed concerns at this week’s meeting, the board will also review potential student disparities stemming from its zero-tolerance disciplinary policy on cheating in the coming weeks.

You see, expecting students to meet basic standards of behaviour, punctuality – and, it seems, probity - is “not fair,” according to SDUSD Vice President Richard Barrera, who adds that the new policy is – and I quote - “an honest reckoning.” An intriguing choice of words.

Update, via Rafi in the comments:

And in other “equity” news