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Horne Says School Districts Need To Ditch “Equitable Grading”

By on May 3, 2023 0 18Views

State schools superintendent Tom Horne is urging public schools that use “equitable grading” for students to abolish the practice.

A recent Wall Street Journal report noted that the practice is being embraced by districts nationwide. It can often be called something similar such as “standards-based grading”, or “compassionate grading.”

In Arizona, several school districts use some form of equitable grading in which the baseline for a grade is not zero but begins at 50 percent. By that standard, what was a 20 percent grade on a 100-point scale would now be a 70 percent passing grade.

In addition, homework is downplayed, and students are often given multiple attempts to take tests and complete assignments. The system essentially rewards procrastination and lazy habits while penalizing industrious students.

Superintendent Horne said, “In education today, we have a war between excellence and mediocrity. So-called ‘equitable’, ‘compassionate’, or ‘standards-based’ grading promotes mediocrity. Test scores show that the students are not learning enough to properly compete in an internationally competitive economy. If we are to increase learning and show it in increased test scores, students must do homework and be graded objectively. The parents of the state are demanding this result.”

A number of Arizona districts use the principles of equitable grading. They include, but aren’t limited to, Agua Fria Union HSD, Amphitheater USD, Deer Valley USD, Flagstaff USD, Laveen ESD, Liberty Arts Academy, Phoenix Union HSD, Roosevelt ESD, Santa Cruz Valley USD, and Sunnyside USD among others.