San Diego School System Changes Grading System to Be ‘Anti-Racist’

Instructors from Raphael House lead a classroom discussion about consent and healthy relationships with a class of sophomores at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., on April 15, 2019. What’s happening at this Catholic school in liberal Portland represents a larger debate unfolding in blue states and red, as …
AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus

San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is changing its grading policies in an attempt to “make them more anti-racist.” The new grading removes “non-academic factors,” with the school district using the example of turning in homework late.

“For months, the district has been working on multiple areas of its operations, including grading, in efforts to make them more anti-racist and equitable, partly in response to social justice protests that erupted over the summer in response to George Floyd’s death,” reported the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Now, the school district’s new grading system will no longer take into account what the district calls “non-academic factors,” such as handing in classroom work late and student behavior, as some students may have struggles related to home, or other responsibilities that affect their ability to turn in their work on time or learn content before a test.

“Students will no longer be docked in their academic grades for turning work in late or other factors related to work habits,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Those aspects of student behavior will be judged in a separate citizenship grade.”

School officials say that these changes are, in part, meant to address racial and other disparities in grading practices.

According to data, black students received D or F grades 20 percent of the time, and Hispanic students received D and F grades 23 percent of the time. Meanwhile, white students received these grades 7 percent of the time, while Asian students received them 6 percent of the time.

The districtwide average for D and F grades was 16 percent.

“If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years,” said SDUSD vice president Richard Barrera, according to Fox News.

“I think this reflects a reality that students have described to us and it’s a change that’s a long time coming,” he added.

The new grading system will be implemented over the rest of this year, and into 2021.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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