Dallas teachers are angry about new district-wide rules that require teachers to accept late homework without penalty, ignore homework grades that lower a student’s semester grade and give retests to students who fail.
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says, “We want to make sure that students are mastering the content [of their classes] and not just failing busy work.”
If homework is just busy work, why require it at all?
Dallas wants to reduce the 20 percent ninth-grade failure rate.
Dr. Hinojosa cited new research that determined ninth-graders who are flunking two or more classes in their first six weeks of high school are almost doomed to become dropouts.
“Our mission is not to fail kids,” he said. “Our mission is to make sure they get it, and we believe that effort creates ability.”
Do you get more effort by letting students off for not doing homework?
Teachers say students fail because they start high school with poor reading skills.
Last year, Dallas told teachers not to give a grade lower than 50 for any grading period, so students who fail can hope to bring up their grade for the year in the next semester.