Friday, January 30, 2009

We Need Less Parental Involvement in Education

To the grade grubbers go the spoils. And the grade grubbers in this case are rabble-rousing parents in Virginia's Fairfax County. Residents of the high-powered Washington suburb have been battling the school district's tough grading practices; chief among their complaints is that a score of 93% gets recorded as a lowly B+. After forming an official protest group called Fairgrade last year and goading the school board into voting on whether to ease the standards, parents marshaled 10,000 signatures online and on Jan. 22 gathered nearly 500 supporters to help plead their case. After two hours of debate, the school board passed a resolution, a move critics consider a defeat in the war on grade inflation.

At most schools in the U.S., a score of 90 earns you an A, but in Fairfax County, getting the goods demands a full 94. Merely passing is tougher too, requiring a 64 rather than a 60. Nor do students get much help clearing those high bars if they take tougher courses. Compared with how many districts weight GPAs for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses, Fairfax County's half-point boost is peanuts. The result, protesters say, is that Fairfax kids are at a disadvantage on multiple fronts: snagging good-driver insurance discounts (which often factor in a student's GPA), earning NCAA eligibility, winning merit scholarships and — oh yeah — getting into good colleges.


I'd rather hire a schmuck that could only manage a C average than some jerk who got politically active over his "right" to have a B read as an A.

But something tells me these brats are bound for government jobs.

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