© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
School district’s new ‘equitable grading’ practices won’t penalize late work or issue zeros, even for cheating
Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP via Getty Images

School district’s new ‘equitable grading’ practices won’t penalize late work or issue zeros, even for cheating

A Portland, Oregon, school district recently issued new “equitable grading” practices that will require teachers to accept late work without penalty and refrain from giving students zeros, even if they are caught cheating, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

A new district handout titled “Portland Public Schools Equitable Grading Practices Summary” highlights the district’s “rationale” for implementing a so-called “equitable” approach to grading students’ class performance.

“Historical data shows that there are racial disparities in our pass/fail rate in multiple subjects in both middle grades and high school,” the district’s handout stated. “During the pandemic we adjusted our grading to accommodate for some of the inequities in access to curriculum and instruction. This caused many teachers to begin the journey towards equitable grading but has led to a mosaic of grading practices across schools and across the district that is confusing to students and families. We need to organize and consolidate our efforts towards common policies to more consistently and better support students and families with equitable grading.”

The district explained that its new grading practices would be based on Joe Feldman’s book, “Grading for Equity,” which provides a framework based on three pillars — “accurate, bias-resistant, and motivational.”

The PPS handout described the equitable grading practices as “accurate” because they are “based on calculations that are mathematically sound.” Those practices include never giving students a grade of zero. Instead, teachers are told to “provide a minimum grade greater than or equal to 50% for work that does not meet expectations, is incomplete, or is missing.” This guideline also applies to students caught cheating.

Educators are also asked to abandon a 0-100 grading scale and replace it with a 0-4 scale, which it stated is “more mathematically accurate.” Students’ grades will be weighted against their most recent performance instead of assessed over the entire semester.

To combat educators’ “implicit bias,” homework will not be graded. Teachers cannot penalize late work or provide extra credit. Students will be allowed the opportunity to retake tests and redo assignments. “Non-academic factors,” including attendance, performance, effort, attitude, and behavior, will also not be included in students’ grades.

The new guidelines are expected to be implemented districtwide by 2025.

Parents Defending Education’s outreach director Erika Sanzi told the Washington Free Beacon that the district’s framework would harm students.

“These equitable grading policies, however well intended, are a disaster for the students who struggle most and for the students who need accelerated coursework,” Sanzi said.

PPS declined to comment, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →