Set up to fail: In real life, you’ve got to show up and do the workSet up to fail: In real life, you’ve got to show up and do the work

Joanne Jacobs:

“Equitable grading” is supposed to be fairer to students who have trouble completing homework, getting to school on time and studying for tests, writes Sara Randazzo in the Wall Street Journal.

Typically, students get multiple opportunities to retake tests and complete assignments. If they never turn in work, the minimum grade is 50 percent, so they don’t give up on earning a passing grade for the course. Students don’t lose points for behaviors such as poor attendance or get extra credit for good behavior.

School systems across the country, including the giant Clark County, Nevada district, which includes Las Vegas, are going “equitable,” writes Randazzo.

At first, Las Vegas English teacher Laura Jeanne Penrod liked the idea of evaluating students on end-of-course mastery rather than their ability to meet deadlines. However, she noticed even her 11th-grade honors students aren’t brainstorming and writing rough drafts of essays the way they used to. Few teenagers have the “intrinsic motivation” to work harder than they have to, she said.