Recently I have learned that Texas has several policies stating that “students are not allowed to receive a failing grade.” The teachers have been instructed to give all students a minimum grade of 70 percent. Their reasoning for this is that if a child gets a failing grade, they are more likely to drop out of school. They also believe that they will have such low self-esteem, that when they become adults, they will think of themselves as failures and will then have a difficult life as an adult.
Why is it that as an eighth-grade student I can see how wrong this is, but they don’t? What they are blind to see is that they are not helping their students get ready for real life this way. Even a failing kid is smart enough to say, “Hey, I don’t have to pass this test because I will get 70 percent no matter what I turn in to the teacher!” However, when these same kids are out of school and have a job, probably flipping hamburgers somewhere, will they expect to get paid and keep their job if they show up 70 percent (or less) of the time and only give 70 percent (or less) of an effort? Sadly, that is what they will expect because it is what they have been taught, but it is not the reality. This policy clearly will not help the students of Texas to become successful adults.
I’m glad I’m a student in Payson, Arizona where teachers still hold their students accountable and actually prepare them to live a successful life.
Eighth-grader at RCM