HOUSTON - A state representative is asking Houston ISD to offer an optional grading system, allowing parents to choose Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory because of the changes in schooling due to the pandemic.
"Nothing about the learning environment has been the same since March, yet we're evaluating and holding our children to the same standard,” says State Representative Shawn Thierry.
Thierry has written a letter to HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan asking for the district to give parents a choice to have their kids' school work graded regularly or modify grading guidelines to include a Pass/Fail option this semester.
"If you look at it in terms of product and sale of goods, the product is not the same, but we're charging students and parents and teachers essentially the same price."
Thierry says with families sharing devices, servers going down and intermittent internet connections students shouldn't have their academic record permanently blemished due to problems popping up as a result of the pandemic.
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"This would be an opt-in. This isn't mandatory for those kids who don't need it, this is not for them."
"That option is very important, very important,” says Chelsea Motton, whose children are in HISD schools.
Motton says her high schooler had all A's and one C, the first grading cycle of this school year.
"Now we have three A's, two B's and two F's and the difference is all the kids are not virtual anymore and the teachers are basically giving more attention to the kids in the classroom,” says Motton.
“And (students) are not able to get the same individualized attention that they used to receive. What we're asking the district to recognize is this is not business as usual,” says Thierry who says offering a Pass/Fail option would ease the pressure on teachers and keep students from unnecessarily receiving bad grades for circumstances out of their control.
HISD isn't yet offering the option. We're awaiting a response from the district regarding Rep. Thierry's request.