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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Letter perfect

The state ranks Indiana's public schools with names that a lot of average people might not immediately grasp the significance of: exemplary progress, commendable progress, academic progress, academic watch or academic probation. How much better than commendable is exemplary, or is it even better? What's the difference between watch and probation? What the heck is "academic" progress? There happen to be five categorites, which, coincidentally, coincides with the number of letter grades everyone does understand (A,B,C,D,F), so the state is considering going to that ranking method. The possibility is freaking out some educators:

But some are worried that letter grades could demoralize students and staff members.

Because of the way the ranking formula works, schools with increasing student performance could receive an A for several years and then drop to an F if they taper off even a little, said Stephen Gabet, a board member from Fort Wayne.

"That's a slap in the face," he said.

Well, sometimes a good slap in the face is needed to get someone's attention, as in: Hey, you're flunking, so shape up! Students have been dealing with these letter grades for generations


Fri, 12/04/2009 - 6:11pm

I read this story several times, and I feel even stupider than usual.
Apparently students might not be graded in one of five categories, but rather in one of five categories.
Have I got this right?
Probably not. I was a victim of "new math."

Bob G.
Sun, 12/06/2009 - 11:27am

Maybe not a slap in the face, but at least a good, swift kick in the ass.
(it's called motivational application...lol)