Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Lower grade standards don’t help students

To the editor:

News articles seem to sadden, disappoint or shock the senses, but don’t often leave me disillusioned. However, a recent piece reporting that the Easthampton High School has decided to set 56 as its new C grade has achieved a new low. Then I go on to read that my alma mater, Northampton High, has assumed the same goal. Incredulity was my first reaction. When I was in high school, 75 was a C and 60 to 69 was a D. They denigrate a quality C student with this action. This step undermines achievement.

Reportedly this is being done to improve graduation rates and reduce dropouts.

One might hope that we’d see reports in the news that administrators and faculty were improving course instruction to garner interest or adding courses that might pique student interest and keep them in school. Unfortunately, the only reports I read in the news are wage issues and how the union “negotiation” process will be started earlier.

This step may be a way for the educators to report better results to superiors, but it also adds fuel to the charter fire and does nothing for the students except add to the dumbing down thesis of American kids. Why do you suppose colleges, even Harvard, offer remedial classes for incoming students?

Eric Stahlberg III

Florence

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