Some Bay Area school districts consider dropping D, F grades as students have difficulties adjusting

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Some Bay Area school districts consider dropping D, F grades
Some school districts in the Bay Area are considering dropping D and F grades for students

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Over the summer, public schools in California gave students a chance to change their letter graders to a "pass" or "no pass." This, after schools acknowledged that some students had a hard time adjusting to online learning. Now some school districts are considering dropping D and F grades.

Some schools will tell you that online learning left many kids unmotivated once they returned to in-person learning and their grades seem to reflect that.

"A lot of students are really struggling this year. It's been a hard year," explained Sam Davis, Oakland Unified School District

Some educators think this might be the appropriate time to drop both D and F grades.

Oakland Unified is considering this proposal but school board director Davis believes it makes sense to drop the D, but give the appropriate grade if the student fails.

RELATED: Oakland Unified among Calif. school districts phasing out D, F grades for high school students

"D grades are not valid for college eligibility at UC and Cal State but obviously if students don't master the material, they shouldn't be getting credit for the class, then they would be getting an F," added Davis.

Educators have argued that many so-called "D" students are a problem because they only work enough to avoid getting an F.

Board director Davis and others say knowing that a student is not mastering the material gives teachers the opportunity to develop an early intervention program to help them to earn a C grade.

"It's really important to give students specific feedback, rapid specific feedback to help them improve, said Alix Gallagher of Policy Analysis for California Education.

San Francisco Unified says it is not changing it's grading policy and Oakland is not planning to vote on this in the near future. Oakland says right now it has other pressing matters like balancing their budget.

But many educators see this as an opportunity to raise some awareness of the current grading policy that many call a persistent problem in our education system.