Benedict College, a historically black college in South Carolina, has fired two professors for refusing to go along with “effort-based grading.” From The State:
Benedict College has fired two professors who refused to go along with a policy that says freshmen are awarded 60 percent of their grades based on effort and the rest on their work’s academic quality.
Benedict President David Swinton says the Success Equals Effort policy gives struggling freshmen a chance to adapt to college academics. He expects students to improve – the formula drops to 50-50 in the sophomore year and isn’t used in the junior or senior year. But he says he’s “interested in where they are at when they graduate, not where they are when they get here.”
Students “have to get an A in effort to guarantee that if they fail the subject matter, they can get the minimum passing grade,” Swinton said. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”
Science professors Milwood Motley and Larry Williams defied that policy and Swinton dismissed them. Neither had tenure, which could have protected them from firing.
Eventually, effort leads to success, but not necessarily in the first year of college for students who start without basic skills and knowledge. And how did students get so far behind? They’ve been passed through school without learning the subject matter. It’s the Low Standards Equals Failure plan.