Florida School District Planning To Restrict Low Grading To Make Failing Students Feel Better: Motivational Or Not?

Secondary students attending schools in the Orange County District of Florida have reportedly gotten a big academic break. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the school district has put a plan in place to eliminate low grading.

In a nutshell, the grading scale has been curved so students will not be allowed to receive grades lower than 50 percent. Since the state of Florida allows grade F to range from 59 to 0, the new ruling is actually in compliance with state law. However, the school board has specified that the grading curve will not be effective for individual assignments.

“It’s really giving kids an opportunity who have slipped up in a marking period,” said the district’s deputy superintendent, Jesus Jara. With the change, “they don’t fall so far behind that they can’t make it up in an academic year.”

The directive will only be enforced for final grades at the end of the semester. But, of course, everyone isn’t in agreement with the decision. A local group of teachers strongly oppose the new directive.

“I’m against inflating school grades in violation of our contract,” said Wendy Doromal, who teaches at Timber Creek High School. “This forces teachers to commit academic fraud and sacrifice their professional integrity. This also conflicts with state statutes.”

However, district officials see things from a different perspective. The notable change is intended to help struggling students who might ultimately fail. According to the Stir, superintendent Barbara Jenkins also opposes the decision.

The same strategy was reportedly used for evaluative purposes last year. However, a whopping 43 percent of students who received help based on the new grading scale still failed. The majority of those students reportedly ended up with Ds. Although Ds aren’t exactly satisfactory, Jenkins still insists the policy is essential “so they [the students] don’t lose all hope.”

Although many have argued that this particular change is a bit far-fetched, apparently there are even more academic adjustments being made statewide. Florida School Districts are also making strides to reduce the number of standardized tests administered annually, reports WCTV.

Do you think restricting lower grades will serve as a motivational strategy, or will it only make students lazier? Are students being pacified? Share your thoughts.

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