Dumbing Down California – Liberals School Districts Dropping D and F Grades

As a Californian, I have personally seen the decline in communities and an increasing lack of unity.



A mass exodus of patriotic Americans has been underway for years while the state’s open border policies have backfilled them with millions of foreign nationals and illegal aliens who have not been required to assimilate into the traditional American system.

As a result, California schools earn low grades compared to the nation. California ranked 38th among the 50 states and District of Columbia in 29 categories, according to the Wallet Hub study.

  • 44th – Math Test Scores
  • 38th – Reading Test Scores
  • 32nd – Median SAT Score

Instead of reforming the state’s failing education system, some schools are using racial justice, masked with the need to help school-age children whose grades have dropped over the past two years of coronavirus lockdowns and online learning.

Some of the failing schools including the Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified, San Diego Unified, and other districts are phasing out grades below a C for high school students.

The progressive reasoning for the plan is by removing the poor grades, the failing students will “re-engage” and allow them to get accepted into public colleges, even though not competent.

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“Our hope is that students begin to see school as a place of learning, where they can take risks and learn from mistakes, instead of a place of compliance,” Nidya Baez, assistant principal at Fremont High in Oakland Unified, said in an ABC report. “Right now, we have a system where we give a million points for a million pieces of paper that students turn in, without much attention to what they’re actually learning.”

ABC reported on the development:

If a student fails a test or doesn’t complete their homework, they’ll be able to retake the test and get more time to turn in assignments. The idea is to encourage students to learn the course material and not be derailed by a low grade that could potentially disqualify them from admission to the University of California and California State University. Students who don’t learn the material, pass the final exam or finish homework by the end of the semester would earn an “incomplete.”

Although education reform advocates have been pushing for this for years, the pandemic offered an opportunity for districts to put it into action. With so many students languishing academically after a year of distance learning, districts see dropping D’s and F’s as a way to help students who had been most impacted by the pandemic, especially Black, Latino and low-income students.

But the move is also, potentially, a step toward an entirely different learning system, in which students are assessed by what they’ve learned, not how well they perform on tests on a given day or whether they turn in their homework on time. Known as competency — or mastery-based learning — the style has been a staple of some private and charter schools for years, and a goal for education reformers trying to overhaul the traditional high school system.

Educational officials are divided on the idea.

“We need a system that gets beyond the institutional model and provides more meaningful feedback for students,” Devin Vodicka, former superintendent of Vista Unified in San Diego County and chief executive of the Learner-Centered Collaborative.



“But for some teachers, Ds and Fs play an important role in the classroom,” NBC reported. “They signal that a student did not learn the material and needs extra help. Dropping Ds and Fs doesn’t guarantee that students will learn the material, even with extra help, and may lead to grade inflation, said Debora Rinehart, a math and science teacher at St. Theresa School, a Catholic school in Oakland.”

“I will work with any student before or after school or even on the weekend to help them learn. However, I will never lie about their knowledge level,” she said. “Not reporting Ds and Fs is the equivalent of lying about a student’s progress.”

Laura Schwalm, a retired superintendent of Garden Grove Unified who is now chief of staff of California Education Partners, said grading should be designed for students to gain admission into CA colleges and trade schools.

“Graduating with a D, in career and technology courses, too, leaves students with few choices,” she said. “No one is saying water downgrades. This is about giving support, not lowering standards, and looking for simple ways to make grading more fair, to give kids a fighting chance and to measure what students know with multiple opportunities to show that.”

The idea of helping failing students continue towards getting into college, instead of ensuring they are learning the content, is so destructive their futures are guaranteed to be replete with challenges and frustration.

This is what you call the progressive way, and eventually Marxism.

Written By: Eric Thompson, host of the Eric Thompson Show. Follow me on his website ETTALKSHOWMAGABOOKTwellit & Twitter.  

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.