Exchange Student

BOE makes the right call for students

Thankfully, the all-important big picture and common sense permeated the discussion Monday night when the Scotland County Board of Education voted on how to proceed with grading the end-of-grade exams for county students.

The board got onto the topic of changing the grading scale after Board member Summer Woodside brought up what schools in Durham will be doing.

“These test scores count for 20{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} of their grade, which goes on their final transcript,” Woodside said. “It impacts their GPA, which then impacts greater, broader decisions. I saw where Durham Public Schools has completely changed their grading scales for EOGs and CTEs to a grading scale of 90 to 100, so the child will not make less than a 90.”

Woodside was concerned that students would get shortchanged, because of the challenges COVID-19 put on education through virtual learning, and not receive a fair shake against students from other school districts that have adopted the 90 to 100 grading scale.

But it is our view that the old adage is correct: Two wrongs (or more) don’t make a right.

Despite the fact that the State Board of Education has given North Carolina’s school district the authority to change how it grades end-of-grade exams because of the coronavirus pandemic, it shouldn’t be an option for any school district to take the easy way out.

It may sound like preaching, but life isn’t easy and neither should education be. Students, at some point in their lives, will be forced to wrestle with the challenges life presents — from employment or military or parenthood and more — and they must find ways to adapt and succeed. Or get left behind.

Nobody wants a child to be left behind in school, though far too many parents sadly seem satisfied to leave their children to their own devices.

But school districts should not find ways to bend the requirements in order to pass these students along. All that does is set the student up for future failure.

Luckily, at least one local school board member spoke sensibly.

If this whole ‘you can’t make less than a 90’ is something you’re going to consider, what makes a child prepared?” asked Board member Raymond Hyatt. “If they know they’re going to get a 90, I’m gonna go home and tell my kid to stop studying … my concern is what kind of signal are those kids that are sitting at home tonight.”

No grading curve is needed to know that he is 100{c25493dcd731343503a084f08c3848bd69f9f2f05db01633325a3fd40d9cc7a1} correct.

We applaud the Board of Education for boring 6-1 to keep the grading scale as is, sending a message to students to buckle down and get to work. Because grades in school really do matter.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“If a man does not study, he will have no knowledge. A man without knowledge is a fool.”