For those currently in school who’ve been oppressed by the evils of conditions, rejoice: You may soon receive unconditional love.
Arlington Public Schools (APS) seems sick of differences in the world, so it’s decided to attain supreme sameness.
Since pupils will meet objective standards to varying degrees, standards should be shrugged off.
Unless I misunderstand, if we pretend everyone’s alike, then they magically are.
The district’s proposed a four-point fundamental overhaul in the name of that greatest of goods, equity.
WJLA lays ’em out:
- No late penalties for homework — because the proposal says it leads to inaccurate grades as it reflects on student’s behavior and not student achievement
- No extra credit — as the proposal says extra credit leads to biased grades and penalizes students with fewer resources
- Unlimited redoes and retakes on assignment
- No grading for homework as the proposal says mistakes are vital to learning and students are less likely to take risks when they fear they will be graded down for making a mistakes
The enforcement of academic rules once amply defined school, but that was before enlightenment took hold.
Dr. Erin Russo — principal of Discovery Elementary — recently praised the superiority of progress.
Amid a meeting on the proposals, she championed a removal of rank:
“There’s no labeling of students or ranking of students. It’s the ownership of what do I need to work on and where am I?”
ASD isn’t the first educational institution to accuse merit of discrimination.
Cases in point:
Not every Arlington academic’s in favor of ditching deadlines and eschewing scores.
A group of teachers from Wakefield High School have issued a letter claiming equity wouldn’t be the result of such shifts.
In fact, they insist, an unreeling of slack would hurt students’ preparation for the future:
We believe that these changes will impact student learning and socio-emotional development and growth in a negative way. The changes, if implemented, will also result in the decline of high expectations and rigor in the classroom across all APS high schools.
“[I]f proposed changes are implemented,” they assert, “the accountability ‘piece’ of the learning process will exist in theory only.”
Having to do things in school runs parallel to having to do them in life:
In addition to learning how to construct an effective argument in writing, solve math equations, or properly conduct science experiments, as students matriculate through high school, they also learn how to develop organizational, time and stress management skills and grow as responsible, civically engaged, and considerate young adults. To achieve these ends, students should be held accountable for completing their work in a timely manner and meeting deadlines that were reasonably established by their teachers.
A summary, if I may: When school is made easier, students are made dumber.
Will the district get its way? There’s a fair chance. The increasingly prevailing perspective appears to be “Lessons, schmessons; why should they learn in school?”
It’s a sight far from the old ways.
There used to be a saying: “Rise to the occasion.”
Not long ago, necessity was the mother of invention.
But these days, the occasion’s unfairly high.
And necessity is most likely a white supremacist.
So the fight rages on — against prejudice, against privilege.
Even so, don’t misunderstand — in some areas, schools are still demanding students’ best: