By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Bend-La Pine Schools’ temporary “no zeros” policy is concerning to local parent Angela Keranen.
Keranen’s son is a freshman at Bend High School.
“The grades aren’t to make everyone feel good; they’re to indicate that the kids are learning the curriculum,” Keranen said. “He doesn’t have to do anything. So now he essentially passes, but he hasn’t learned anything all year.”
Middle and high schoolers will be graded on a 10 point scale, but the lowest failing grade they can receive is 50%.
According to the school district’s website, “A 50% represents an F, or half the points possible on a traditional 100 point scale, and will be the lowest possible grade reflected on any assignment or assessment.”
Keranen worries this will hide how many kids are truly struggling, including her son, who she fears will fall behind.
“It’s only going to make more of a burden next year when they go back,” Keranen said. “They’ve got these grades that look like they passed. They didn’t learn the materials.”
Jim Boen, executive director of BLP’s middle schools, says the school district saw a concerning number of students failing.
The grading scale was implemented to help failing students recover and climb out of the F range.
“Any grade change at any other level, from a B to an A or even a D to a C, only requires a 10 percentage point jump,” Boen said. “Whereas a 0 to 60 is obviously much larger.”
Keranen believes the change was made to benefit the school district. Boen said that’s not true.
“It was really about helping students be successful,” Boen said. “Feeling successful, and feeling like they had a shot.”
“They’re not going to feel better by a 50,” Keranen said. “Mine doesn’t, now he thinks it’s a joke that he doesn’t have to try very hard. Which now, we’ve decreased incentive.”
The new grading system will continue through this school year.
Bend-La Pine Schools has not yet released their reopening plan.