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The Lockean Project

Questions about grades

“Questions about grades”, Carmel Pine Cone – August 11, 2023

I attended the Aug. 3 PGUSD School Board meeting. The first hour and a half was spent on one item on the agenda: equitable grading. At least 12 members of the staff and the public spoke about it during public comments. Most of the public, including one school board trustee, was against the implementation.

Here is a possible scenario of how an equitable grading policy might work: Student No. 1 does not do homework, may have poor attendance or have behavioral problems in class, and does not receive passing grades in most written exams. The teacher, using the new equitable grading policy, can decide that student No. 1 represents a “protected class” (based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, learning disability, etc.) therefore this student receives a B in prealgebra, even without showing evidence of mastering the material.

Student No. 2 has a strong work ethic and is one of the highest-achieving students in the school. This student receives 95 percent or better on written exams and has almost perfect attendance but completed only 60 percent of his/her homework assignments. Student No. 2 receives a grade of B in prealgebra (mostly because of incomplete homework assignments).

If I were a parent of student No. 2, I would have some questions: 1. Is equitable grading consistent with PGUSD grading policy? 2. Isn’t it a form of affirmative action? 3. Didn’t the Supreme Court recently rule against affirmative action in college admission requirements? Might this also apply to the equitable grading policy? 4. Is it not true that California voters have consistently rejected affirmative action policies? 5. Is equitable grading a form of reverse discrimination? 6. Does it punish gifted students? 7. Is equitable grading a product of another movement called diversity, equity, and inclusion?

If I were a parent or an interested member of the public, I would show up the next time equitable grading is discussed by the PGUSD school board. The school board assures us that the policy is still in the exploratory phase.

Carol Marquart, Pacific Grove

EDITOR NOTE: See the article about the Pacific Grove Unified School meeting on Aug. 3, 2023 —

Good time to write letters to the editor about “equitable grading,” which is actually “unfair grading.”

Next PGUSD meeting: Aug. 17, 2023, at the PACIFIC GROVE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICE AT 435 HILLCREST AVENUE, IN PACIFIC GROVE. The open session begins at approximately 6:30 pm, PGUSD office 831-646-6553 office.