Abolishing grades on homework will hurt the neediest kids

Jay Matthews:

Now some schools are experimenting with easing homework and grading as a way to be fair and coax students back into the learning process. I had assumed educators would quickly realize this was a formula for disaster.

But I have learned such take-it-easy policies are being seriously considered in what I have considered for many decades to be one of the best school districts in the country — Arlington County, Va., right next to our nation’s capital.

Arlington teachers are revolting against the ideas. District spokesman Frank Bellavia said it is all preliminary. The district “is in the early stages of revising the grading and homework policies and policy implementation procedures,” he said. “As part of Phase 1, we provided some ideas for staff to look at as a starting point.”

I think even that is going too far.

Arlington County is studying proposals that would, among other things, remove penalties for missing homework deadlines and prohibit grading of what is called formative work — daily assignments. Faculty would grade only what are called summative assessments, which generally means tests.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?