Canceling Grades

John Stonestreet, Radio Host and Director of the Colson Center

Last week the LA Times reported that, facing soaring rates of D’s and F’s, more schools are simply doing away with grades entirely. Instead, teachers are encouraged to give students little to no homework, move deadlines, and have fewer outcome-driven measurements of achievement. 

What’s the rationale behind the move?

“By continuing to use century-old grading practices,” wrote L.A. Unified’s chief academic administrator, “we inadvertently perpetuate achievement and opportunity gaps, rewarding our most privileged students and punishing those who are not.” In other words, standardized grades are racist. 

But isn’t suggesting that poor or minority kids can’t get good grades itself a racist belief?

A major reason for merit-based grading is that if we don’t evaluate students based on their achievements, we’ll evaluate them on something else; in this case, an administrator’s preconceived ideas about their ability to succeed, based entirely on ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Even more, by doing away with grades, educators keep students from the potential to succeed, no matter how hard they work. It’s a different kind of tyranny, but no less destructive: the tyranny of low expectations.

Copyright 2021 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.

Joe Biden Promises to Reinstate President Obama’s Guidance Letting Boys Use Girls’ Locker Rooms, Restrooms at School

Joe Biden plans to reinstate the Obama Administration’s 2016 guidance directing public schools to let boys who claim to be girls use girls’ shower facilities, locker rooms, and restrooms at school, according to the Associated Press.

In May of 2016 the Obama Administration’s federal Department of Education and federal Department of Justice jointly issued a set of guidelines reinterpreting federal law for schools that receive public funds — like K-12 public schools and many colleges and universities.

The guidelines indicated that to continue receiving funds these schools must let biological males who claim to be female use the girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, and similar facilities at school, and vice versa.

The guidelines also addressed male and female student housing at schools.

Needless to say all of this created a lot of controversy at the time.

Arkansas’ governor and attorney general issued statements telling public schools to disregard President Obama’s guidelines, and Arkansas, along with nine other states, sued the federal government over the issue.

President Trump rescinded the Obama Administration’s 2016 guidelines after he took office the following year.

In 2017 the late Sen. Linda Collins (R — Pocahontas) filed S.B. 774, the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act, to help protect the physical privacy of people in showers, restrooms, and locker rooms on government property — such as public school campuses. Family Council supported S.B. 774, but it ultimately did not pass.

Obviously, it is very troubling to hear Joe Biden promise to reinstate President Obama’s radical pro-LGBT policies. This is an issue Family Council plans to monitor closely and continue to address in the future.