New “equitable grading practices” are underway, banning teachers from giving “zeros” to students who cheat or fail to turn in homework. tested in Portland Public Schools.
Washington’s Free Lighthouse reports that this new grading system strives to overcome “racial disparities” and “inequities” in grading and instruction, which the district began to consider during the pandemic. According to the outlet, the guidelines are expected to be fully implemented by 2025.
Portland Public Schools Equitable Grading Guide states that teachers cannot issue “zeros” to students who have cheated or missed assignments. Students should not be penalized for late work and should be allowed to retake tests and redo assignments until they can demonstrate proficiency, according to the guide.
In addition, teachers must not include attendance and participation in grades and must decide a student’s grade on an equitable average.
Portland Public Schools states in the guidance sheet that “Historical data shows that there are racial disparities in our pass/fail rate in several subjects in both middle and high school. During the pandemic, we adjusted our qualification to accommodate some of the inequalities in access to curriculum and instruction.”
“This led to many teachers starting down the path to equitable grading, but it has resulted in a patchwork of grading practices in schools and the district that is confusing for students and families. We need to organize and consolidate the our efforts toward common policies for improvement and consistency. to support students and families with equitable grading,” PPS said.
The new grading procedures, which were used in some schools last year and are expected to be used districtwide by 2025, are a reflection of left efforts done across the nation to ensure “equitable outcomes” for all children.
Portland Public Schools reported a massive drop in math enrollment and achievement after the pandemic.