Monroe County parents divided over grading changes that make it harder to fail

MADISONVILLE (WATE) – Many Monroe County parents are upset after a decision to alter the grading scale for students. Monroe County Director of Schools Tim Blankenship said the change is supposed to help Monroe County’s “at risk” kids.

He says if they fail, instead of getting an “F,” they will get a minimum of 60 percent and a plan for how to improve from their teacher. A lot of parents are concerned that teachers not giving the students a failing grade means the district is really failing the students.

Kristi Miller has two children in Monroe County schools and she’s not happy with the message the district is giving her kids.

Miller and many other Monroe County parents told WATE 6 On Your Side they feel this change gives kids a reason to not try and just pushes them through the system.

“I want them to be able to function outside high school in the world. And the world doesn’t change its standards to meet us, so I want them to realize that and be prepared for that,” said Miller.

Some other Monroe County parents feel like the district is giving kids who are struggling, but trying, a new opportunity.

Kristi Miller
Kristi Miller

“If they’re not putting in the effort, then fine, keep the low grade. But if they’re trying, it’s not going to hurt to give them a fighting chance,” said Monroe County parent Ashley Fischer.

Monroe County Schools says the grade policy change will give hope to students who are failing, but show improvement.

Fischer thinks it will help boost self-esteem for kids like her son, who, she says, are just doing the best they can.

“We’ve got to do something. Kids are getting discouraged. They’re dropping out or getting into trouble,” she said.

Blankenship said the new grading policy does not mean 60 percent is the new “zero.” He said if students don’t improve, they can then be given the failing grade they originally earned.


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