I’ve mentioned that San Diego is often a West Coast holdout from Wokeness. For example, San Diego responded to the late May wave of Undocumented Shopping at local malls by calling for the police to use facial recognition software to arrest the looters. But, from NBCSanDiego.com:
The San Diego Unified School District is overhauling the way it grades students
By Alexis Rivas • Published October 15, 2020
Students will no longer be graded based on a yearly average, or on how late they turn in assignments. Those are just some of the major grading changes approved this week by California’s second-largest school district.
The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is overhauling the way it grades students. Board members say the changes are part of a larger effort to combat racism.
“This is part of our honest reckoning as a school district,” says SDUSD Vice President Richard Barrera. “If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years.”
According to data presented by the district, under the old grading system, teachers fail minority students more than White students – a lot more.
During the first semester of last year, 30% of all D or F grades were given to English learners. One in four, 25%, of failing marks went to students with disabilities.
By ethnicity, 23% went to Native Americans. Another 23% of failing grades went to Hispanics. And 20% of D or F grades went to Black students.
By comparison, just 7% of failing marks went to White students.
Of course there is zero mention of Asian students in this article. Why would you even ask?
In an effort to change that racial imbalance, the school board voted unanimously this week to make several big changes to its grading system.
Academic grades will now focus on mastery of the material, not a yearly average, which board members say penalizes students who get a slow start, or who struggle at points throughout the year.
So they are switching K-12 public school students from a system under which teachers monitor and prod students all year long to keep up with their work to one in which kids can goof off as long as they want and then, like a brilliant Oxford undergrad, stay up for the last 168 hours of the school year straight swotting up on everything they should have studied for in the past and ace the final exam. That worked out great for former UK prime minister David Cameron at Oxford and numerous other Eton and Harrow old boys before him, so why wouldn’t it work for public school Students of Color in San Diego? Obviously, this new system of grading will be better for Students of Color because it’s new and therefore Anti-Racist, unlike all the old Racist systems.
Note: the stay-up-all-week-swotting method didn’t work for Cameron’s friend in the Bullingdon Club (made famous in the opening scene of Waugh’s Decline and Fall), Boris Johnson, who only got an Upper Second. But I’m sure San Diego’s public school Students of Color won’t come up short like a large fraction of prime ministers do. It’s racist to imagine they’ll have any problems under the new system that lets them dawdle all year long in hopes of pulling out a good grade at the last moment.
Another big change, teachers can no longer consider non-material factors when grading. Things like turning work in on time and classroom behavior will now instead count towards a student’s citizenship grade, not their academic grade.
After all, when they finally go back to school, the badly-behaved students who worsen the learning environment for everybody else shouldn’t have their grades penalized. Instead, the grades of the other kids will have to be lowered because they didn’t master as much of the material as they would have if the disruptive kids had had more incentives to behave.
The board will also review potential student disparities stemming from its zero-tolerance disciplinary policy on cheating in the coming weeks.
Nearly 106,000 students attend a San Diego Unified School District school.
As I’ve mentioned before, one link between the pandemic and the shameful collapse of institutions into Ibram X. Kendi-ism in 2020 is that the disruptions of the pandemic caused the need to re-evaluate various old policies that had been keeping things running because of inertia. But now that American thinking is so warped by the ideological demands of the Great Awokening, Americans can’t competently design new policies anymore.
iSteve commenter Gimeiyo opines:
I sometimes get the sense that the impetus behind a lot of these new “woke” policies is actually despair at the impossibility of closing racial gaps, and in response, abandoning any effort to deal with “root causes” in favour of throwing out any metric, scale, or statistic that would reveal the gap. Black students get suspended more than Asians and Whites? No more suspensions. Black students get lower standardized test scores? Fine, no more standardized tests. Blacks commit violent crimes more often? Well, if the police would just stop arresting Black suspects those statistics wouldn’t exist, so abolish the police.
There is a brutal directness to this approach. There’s a lot of flim flam about “systemic racism” and “White privilege” thrown about, but isn’t this what it boils down to? The numbers are going to be bad so tear down everything that reveals those numbers. No more reform.