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Old 10-24-2020, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: City Council wants new schools chancellor to ‘take bold action’

https://nypost.com/2020/10/24/richar...marks-nyc-doe/

Richard Carranza’s grading policy aims to bar failing marks: NYC DOE memo
By Susan Edelman
October 24, 2020 | 6:39pm | Updated

Chancellor Richard "Ay!" Carranza’s highly anticipated new grading policy for this school year will again ban failing marks, according to an internal memo obtained by The Post, riling educators and parents.

The city Department of Education document, titled “Grading Policy 2020-2021,” says schools should use the same softer “considerations” adopted last May during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Among the main guidelines:

“Continue to use ‘course in progress’ in place of failing grades.”
“Permit students in high school an additional semester to complete coursework and meet the learning outcomes for their courses.”

Under the DOE policy adopted in May, schools had to drop numeric grades. Instead, it directed the use of “meets standards,” “needs improvement,” or “course in progress” for marking periods as well as end-of-year grades.

The new policy will allow elementary and middle schools to give numeric grades — but not to fail students, the document states.

For kindergarten through 5th grade, schools can give grades of 1 to 4 but use “needs improvement” to replace a failing 1 or 2.
For 6th to 8th grades, report cards will replace a failing grade with “course in progress.”
In high school, “incomplete” will replace a failing mark.

The policy is likely to be controversial.

“This is in keeping with the DOE’s desire not to penalize students with extreme pandemic-related hardships, which seems fair,” said David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor.

“But the main issue remains: what intensive remedial help does the DOE plan for those students it knows are being left behind? The Mayor and Chancellor have yet to meet that urgent challenge.”

Some parents agree the DOE is watering down the standards to cover-up its own failures.

“The DOE is running away from an honest assessment of how far behind students are right now. Hiding the evidence does not help kids who need the most help,” said Maud Maron, a Manhattan mom of five kids in public schools and a member of Community Education Council in District 2. “This policy is about protecting adults.”

The DOE has not only kept parents in the dark about grading policy, but hamstrung principals and teachers. Parent conferences are coming up this month.

A Brooklyn principal told The Post his middle school is using its own grading policy and plans to “ignore” any guidance from Carranza.

“We’re focusing on daily participation, homework, tests and quizzes,” he said. “We’re going to fail them if they don’t participate at all or do any work. We have high expectations. The DOE has low expectations. They didn’t just lower the bar. They eliminated the bar.”

DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot would not comment on the grading memo.

“When we have a final grading policy, we’ll share it with principals first,” she said.
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