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Exceptions and Excuses DO NOT EQUAL High School Diplomas (Except in San Diego Unified)

Re: Exceptions and Excuses DO NOT EQUAL High School Diplomas (Except in San Diego Unified)

2021-06-04

In a recent document “GRADES/EVALUATION OF STUDENT PROGRESS DURING EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSURES” (AR 5121.1) the San Diego Unified School Board proves once again the lack of their leadership and their lack of positive expectations from our students. Some examples from the document include:

Long-Term Closures

If a student earns an “F” grade first semester and a “D” grade second semester, the student will earn a “D” grade for the year. What this means is that a student really only learned MINIMAL work in that course, passed the class and received 2 credits for a class that they only truly earned 1 credit.

Although this method was used in schools many, many years ago, the district changed it so that students MUST pass both semesters in order to get credit for the class and for mastery in the class. No mastery, no passing grade.

This could be understandable if students did not have access to the material but they did! How much federal and state money did the district receive for laptops and other essentials so that students could have access to their work? The district also paid teachers a FULL salary to ensure that students were learning the material. Where is the accountability for ALL of that money?

Use Of In-Progress

Students have the opportunity to pass a class even though they have not completed the coursework to get the credit. An IP (in progress) grade will be given and the student can earn the credit in summer school. This is nothing new.

The issue here is: will this student who has an IP grade on their final report card be allowed to walk in graduation? If the answer is YES, then when the principal tells the school board member: “All students have successfully completed all coursework to attain their diploma” they will be a fabrication, not the truth. Students who attend summer school are NOT allowed to walk in the graduation ceremony because they have NOT earned the credits for graduation.

Once again, our school board members have diluted the credibility of the high school diploma.

Graduation Waiver Due to Emergency School Closure

Although this is not new to schools, the fact that you can waive 6 credits per semester of the school closure or 4 credits for each quarter of the closure means that instead of the mandated 44 credits to graduate, a student can now graduate with 26 because schools were closed for 3 semesters. The diploma now means nothing!

The mandated GPA was 2.0 but with the waiver a student can graduate with a 1.75. With all of the grade exceptions put in place, a student could easily get a 2.0 just by logging in to the computer!

What does all this mean? Board President Barrera is manipulating us again, and he and the rest of the school board members gave teachers their FULL SALARY with half the work required to teach our students. All the while the school board continues to tell the community that they are doing everything “for students.” By now, we all know that is ludicrous. The school board only cares about keeping the teachers happy by making sure they were comfortable during a very uncomfortable situation. Our students did not get the education they deserved…not even close. But does our school board care? According to this information, the school board only wants to make “exceptions” for anything and everything so their graduation stats look good.

Based on all of the issues in the said document, there should not be a single student who does not graduate this year. President Barrera is sweeping failure under the rug so that he can claim SDUSD’s graduation rate is 100%!

 

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

 

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