A Minnesota middle school is eliminating the failing "F" grade. As explained in a YouTube video posted by Sunrise Park Middle School, the 2021-22 school year does not include 0-49.9 percentiles for students. Instead, Associate Principal Norman Bell elaborated that students will be encouraged to retake quizzes, according to Fox News.
"Our whole intent is to ensure that grades focus on the process of learning," Principal Christina Pierre said in the video. "Therefore, grades will not include behaviors, attitude, tardiness to class, whether the assignment was turned in late or on time. There's other ways that we can communicate those things to parents."
The district's superintendent, Wayne Kazmierczak, was awarded the Minnesota Association of School Administrators 2021 Superintendent of the Year. The school's website discusses the award and the requirement of an "equity audit" before being awarded. The equity audit would seemingly measure grade disparities among races, and it remains unclear whether the district has eliminated failing grades as a result of this equity audit.
"Grading can be one of the largest areas in which systemic racism and inequities are perpetuated. Dr. Kazmierczak and WBLAS believe grades should be a measure of what a student knows and has mastered in a given course. Grading should not be a behaviour punishment and should not be a measure of how well a student can survive stress at home," the website reads.
Sunrise Park Middle School serves students in grades sixth through eighth in the White Bear Lake Area of Minnesota.