No Failing Grades In Texas



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.

Seth Crisp

Eighth-grader at RCM


Scott Paul 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad to see civic mindedness in the school aged youth of our community, however, I feel compelled to correct a few assumptions made in Seth Crisp's opinion article titled ” No Failing Grades in Texas”.

I own a home in Payson, but because of military service now reside in San Antonio, Texas with my two school aged daughters. I can assure Seth and anyone else interested in Texas school policies that not all Texas school districts adhere to the bizarre policy stated by Seth. In fact, both of my daughters have brought home grades in the single digits.

While I approve of our youth taking an interest in issues beyond the latest play station games, or popular WebPages, it is in everyone's interest to ensure the full facts are presented. Outside of a few districts in decidedly urban liberal areas of the state, most of Texas still adheres to the concept of you get what you earn (a concept proudly begun in the Republic days of Texas and stoutly continued till today).

I feel compelled to point out that it is not solely the role of schools to prepare our youth for their role as responsible adults. Parents, guardians and positive adult role models also play the key role in this regard.

While I applaud Seth for his correct interpretation of the effects of this flawed policy, I'd like to also remind him that presenting a fully informed opinion has a stronger impact than an opinion that misrepresents the full facts.

Scott Paul


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