Being a homeschooling parent does not preclude my interest in events occurring in the public education system. The children being indoctrinated in public schools will one day be our future leaders: policemen, teachers, firemen, pilots, soldiers, scientists, physicians, etc. So it has been with increasing dismay that I have read about my local school district’s attempts to
- prohibit teachers from giving grades for homework assignments, even if those assignments are never turned in
- eliminate the automatic “zero” grade currently given to those students caught cheating on exams
- prohibit a teacher from assigning a grade lower than “50” (some districts set the bar at “70”) on a report card regardless of the student’s lack of mastery.
When I am sixty years old and need the services of a physician, I do not want to be saddled with a doctor who learned to work the system and just “skate by” in school. America used to be about excellence. In fact, the immigrants who settled our great country were all about excellence. “Do it right the first time” was a value taught in schools and in homes. Thousands of new innovations and inventions blossomed out of the quest for excellence. It is a shame that educational leaders across the country are now pushing for “grade-less” institutions. A report card is supposed to be a way to show NOT the value of the child, but to show the child’s mastery of the subject matter. If teachers are no longer allowed to issue failing grades, then what is the point of education? How will a teacher, a student, and his parents know whether or not a topic is mastered? I do not want a doctor who was allowed to “pass” biology but who failed to master anatomy!
Kudos to State Senator Jane Nelson who has introduced legislation that would eliminate these district attempts to “de-grade” student achievement. Proponents in the “no-failing-grade” camp claim that poor grades lead to student drop-outs (and thus less money for the school districts), and that some students need a “safety net”. The problem with this “safety-net” mind-set is that it rewards under-performing students to such an extent that all students begin to play the system. What’s the point of doing homework (and mastering a subject) if your friend doesn’t do his and makes the same grade you make? What’s the harm in cheating?
Many teachers already offer those who fail exams to take a re-test — that practice was in place way-back-in-the-olden-days when I was in high school. That was an adequate safety net. Teachers are not “out to get” students but aim to encourage and lead them to success…true success, that is. Not an empty one.
Proverbs 21 speaks to much of the harm that is happening in classrooms all over Texas and the nation. Do we want to raise up an entire generation of children who have no work ethic? No thick skin? No sense of accomplishment?
Lazy people finally die of hunger
because they won’t get up and go to work.
Do your best, prepare for the worst—
then trust God to bring victory