Putting a new twist on the old saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you,” students in Katy ISD will no longer find Ds on their report cards under new grading policies adopted by the district’s board of trustees.

Katy students who score between 70 percent and 74 percent in a class will now receive a C-.

While D grades in Katy will no longer exist, grade point average calculations will remain unchanged for now. Students who get a C- would receive a 1.0 for GPA calculations. Those who get a C would get a 2.0. But that will change for students who are freshmen and in the classes that follow. For those students, any grades between 70 and 79 will earn a 2.0 on the GPA system.

In other changes to Katy ISD’s policies, rather than assigning and reporting a specific ranking to each student, students not in the top 10 percent of their class only will be notified if they are in the top 25 percent, 50 percent or 75 percent of their class. And if they’re not notified, students can assume they rank near the bottom of their class.

So what’s the point of all this?It looks like the district is trying to find a way around shaming students. Officials said changes in the reporting of rankings will grant students more anonymity and remove some stress as they prepare for college.

But in the process of trying not to insult students whose grades may reflect a lack of intelligence, the district might be insulting their intelligence. Whether it’s a C- or a D, between 70 and 74 percent is still between 70 and 74 percent, right above an F. Those students will know they would have gotten a D in the past. D doesn’t mean dumb, in this case.

These efforts seem to be si milar to the participation awards handed out by schools In the process of trying not hurt students’ feelings, the schools are doing a disservice to them. Students want and deserve a chance to know where they stand, in a fair manner with no semantics involved. Isn’t that part of the education process: teaching students to earn what they learn and letting them know in an honest manner?

Also, part of the education process is preparing students for the real world. With Katy’s new policies, the district is ducking that responsibility.

This editorial was written by Phil Ellenbecker, a copy editor with The Facts.

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