Some California school districts phasing out D’s and F’s in effort to help ‘re-engage’ students

Some of California’s largest school districts will be dropping D and F grades in favor of competency-based learning.

The goal of competency-based learning is to re-engage students after nearly two years of virtual learning as a result of the pandemic (NewsNation Now).

Many fear that this new learning style will only lie to students about their progress. Though, advocates say that schools should assess what students have learned instead of how well they test.

“What mastery learning does is really allow students every opportunity to show that they know the material and if they don’t know the material, to get the support they need to be able to demonstrate it,” Steven Kellner of California Education Partners said.

Los Angeles and Santa Ana are among the several California districts transitioning to this style of learning. Alix Gallagher, with Policy Analysis for California Education, states that “one teacher takes homework assignments late, the other has extra credit, one curves scores on tests, so there is a clear and objective unfairness to students if they get one teacher versus another.” 

The discussion on if this will benefit or harm students is at the forefront of California education right now. Many are welcoming this new age style, saying bad grades can often have a psychological consequence on children at young ages (California News Times). It is likely new approaches to teaching and learning styles will emerge in light of the ongoing pandemic.




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I was born and raised in Omaha, NE before moving to Sioux Falls, SD to attend college at Augustana University. This past May I graduated from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Biology with an emphasis in Allied Health. I first discovered FBA through my involvement with Turning Point USA where I worked as a Campus Coordinator in college. I have a passion for politics and activism, and was drawn to FBA’s dedication to spreading the truth. Unbiased news is rare in today’s society, so I wanted to be a part of FBA’s mission to change that.

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