San Diego school districts overhauls grading system to combat racism

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The San Diego Unified School District last week approved a major overhaul to its grading system as a part of a larger effort to combat racial discrimination.

The new changes came in response to data that showed disparities between the percentage of white and minority students who received D or F grades, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. 

A racial disparity in failing grades has prompted the San Diego Unified School District to overhaul its entire grading system.
(nj.gov)

According to the data, Black students accounted for about 20% of all D or F grades during the first semester of last year, while Native American and Hispanic students each accounted for 23%. By comparison, white students made up 7% of all D or F grades during that same period.

Under the district’s new system, non-academic factors like late work and classroom behavior will not be counted toward their overall academic grade. 

SDUSD Vice President Richard Barrera said the overhaul represents the district’s “honest reckoning.”

“If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years,” Barrera said. “I think this reflects a reality that students have described to us and it’s a change that’s a long time coming.”

The new system, which affects mostly middle school and high school students, will be implemented over this year and next.

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