Virginia Teachers Resist Efforts to Eliminate Student Grading Practices in the Name of ‘Equity’

A proposal from the school board of Arlington, Virginia to eliminate most basic grading practices for students’ work is facing resistance from teachers in the district, Fox News reports.

Arlington Public Schools (APS) revealed the details of their new proposal, which focuses on implementing more so-called “equitable” methods to ensure that as few students as possible fail in class. The proposal calls for the elimination of penalties for turning in homework late, the elimination of extra credit opportunities, and even completely eliminate grading for homework assignments altogether; it would also allow students an infinite number of do-over attempts on homework.

Supporters of the new plan claim that only students with more “resources” will be able to complete extra credit opportunities, and also suggest that homework grading should be eliminated outright because it may have a negative impact on the students’ “learning process.”

But in a joint letter sent to the Arlington County Superintendent, a group of teachers at Arlington’s Wakefield High School outlined their reasons for opposing the new plan.

“As educators with decades of experience in APS,” the letter reads, “we are extremely concerned with several changes proposed in the new grading and homework policy. 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.”

The letter points out that deadlines for turning in homework are necessary for students to “develop organizational, time and stress management skills and grow as responsible, civically engaged, and considerate young adults.”

“To achieve these ends,” the letter continues, “students should be held accountable for completing their work in a timely manner and meeting deadlines that were reasonably established by their teachers.”

In response to the criticism, an APS spokesperson said that “this work is being done as part of the School Board’s work to update all policies and PIPs. “As of right now, we are having preliminary conversations with instructional staff as to what makes sense in policy and what makes sense in practice at schools.”

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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