Pittsburgh Public Schools officials say they want to give struggling children a chance, but the district is raising eyebrows with a policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive for assignments, tests and other work. ...This method is even worse than softening the tests. Instead of lying to the dulls by telling them they're smart, this embraces dullness as being just a couple paces from smartness.
While some districts use "F" as a failing grade, the city uses an "E."
"The 'E' is to be recorded no lower than a 50 percent, regardless of the actual percent earned. For example, if the student earns a 20 percent on a class assignment, the grade is recorded as a 50 percent," said the memo from Jerri Lippert, the district's executive director of curriculum, instruction and professional development, and Mary VanHorn, a PFT vice president.
The lettering system is silly:
A student receives an "A" for scores ranging from 100 percent to 90 percent, a "B" for scores ranging from 89 percent to 80 percent, a "C" for scores ranging from 79 percent to 70 percent, a "D" for scores ranging from 69 percent to 60 percent and an "E" for scores ranging from 59 percent to the cutoff, 50 percent.Seems E should come before F, no?
I remember on rare occasions receiving an "E" for some non-academic measure, like displaying a positive attitude. The E stood for "excellent". I'm glad the grading scale hadn't yet been turned on its head in the nineties!