My Turn: New Grading Policy


Jason Fontelieu, Deputy Editor

Baltimore County Public Schools loves their students quite a bit. And by students, of course, I mean, themselves!

BCPS is always ready to jump the gun for any action to better their reputation, whether it be or not be at the expense of its students. However, that could take me several hours and many coffee trips to Wawa to be able to compile such a manuscript. I’m just here to talk to you, casual reader, about one thing: the grading policy.

The newest policy dictated that the only assignments to count towards their grades are quizzes and tests, leaving homework and classwork assignments in the dust, labeled as “ungraded” assignments, with the incentive to complete them to master the concepts needed to pass the tests.

Honey. If homework is not graded, you can bet your left butt cheek that I am NOT doing that.

This policy has only allowed slacker students (not including myself, of course) to get by in their classes by doing minimal work.

However, my suspicion is that BCPS is doing this solely, for their reputation, and not for their students. If more BCPS students have higher averages and higher likelihood to graduate, who benefits from that? BCPS!

With higher graduation rates, and a pat on Dallas Dance’s back from Governor Larry Hogan, maybe he slips some extra funding into Dallas’s coat pocket…a valid conspiracy theory, in my opinion, right behind the whole Ted Cruz/Zodiac Killer debacle.

If the grading policy could parallel any song in the universe, I’d have to argue that it would be “I Can Lift a Car,” by Walk the Moon.

Not because the policy is beautiful and well-written like this song, and frankly, just about every song from Walk the Moon.

It’s because this policy is trying to lift a car (a bus? Hah) up in the sense that they’re trying to singlehandedly better the reputations and appearance of their county’s performance without any actual improvements to the education students are receiving.

For instance: if students were in a race and the finish line was graduation, the county isn’t prepping us for the race by training us or forcing us to drink kale smoothies, they’re basically just letting us start a little bit past the start line.

With the lowest grade a student being able to receive on an assignment being a 50 percent, students at this point will virtually have to try to fail, in order to fail.

Baltimore County, you cannot lift a car. You could barely lift up Dallas Dance’s diminutive body. You cannot change the way assignments are graded to make you seem like you’re educating your students better when you are not. Making it easier for students to graduate without actually bettering their education is selfish, and honestly, shady.

I see you, BCPS. Trust me. I see you.