Virginia high school proves failure is not an option
For a few lucky high school seniors ready to head off to college, failing grades that once marred their records have suddenly disappeared. Instead, students at West Potomac High School, just outside of Georgetown, have received “I”s on their transcripts.
The “incomplete” grade will replace any “F,” which allows students to complete unfinished work and raise failing grades without those nasty marks on their permanent report cards.
As the Washington Post reports, almost 2,000 Fs were doled out to students at Alexandra, Virginia high school last year. Under the new grading system, Fs will only appear after students do not raise an I grade after both the school year and a summer term.
Supporters of the new system point out that the new system, will not predispose students to accept failure and move on without understanding coursework. They hope that the opportunity to improve an “incomplete” will motivate students to master material for the material’s—rather than the grade’s—sake.
“Once they demonstrate mastery, you give them credit for what they know,” Mickey Mulgrew, Prince William County associate high school superintendent, said to the Post. “Who cares if you learned it on Monday or Tuesday, as long as you learned it?”
Others are horrified that the threat of receiving an F will no longer motivate students doing poorly in their classes and may reflect poorly on college admissions. However, Jezebel clearly understands the importance of the new grading policy: “This is great practice for the real world, where we all know that failure is totally impossible.”