New LISD Policy Raises Doubt

By Emma Berkel

This year a new policy has been introduced to LISD schools, and as a result, a five-day grace period is offered. The grace period, intended to help students, allows one to make up a failing grade. While this should theoretically keep students from failing a class, it’s questionable as to how much the policy is really helping.

Those in favor of it say that it gives the more driven students a better chance to avoid a particularly damaging grade. Everyone has a bad day, and it’s ridiculous to let someone fail because of that.

It’s beneficial for students to be able to come back and prove their knowledge with a retake. What’s more, if taken, the opportunity to earn a C rather than an F gives students a reason to go back and learn the material rather than just shrug it off and attempt to move forward. In this way, the policy actually encourages learning.

“I think it would benefit because it just… it’s a safety net,” said Taryn Sanderson, junior and AP student.

However, those opposed to the policy say that it’s too much like a safety net and isn’t appropriate for high school, especially when it has become ideal for all students to attend and succeed at a university. College doesn’t come with infinite retakes, and so the policy deprives students of college preparation.

In the long run, it will be much more difficult for those that depended on the policy since in the real world there are rarely second chances. That’s why students should learn to get it right the first time now, when the consequences aren’t nearly as drastic.

“[The policy] doesn’t seem very beneficial,” said Tiffany Snieder, junior. There hasn’t been much change in the classroom, because if someone’s not going to do their work in the first place, what’s to prompt them to do it one week or two weeks after?

However, some students are making use of the policy and many teachers have been forced to deal with the consequences.

“[The policy] did create a lot of extra grading,” said Carla Knippa of her Pre-Calculus classes. And that extra grading led to pile-ups at the end of the first six weeks. For the newest grading period, many teachers seek a better way to at least handle the policy, such as offering only a specific time slot at the end of the six weeks to make up the grades.

Although the policy is established and slowly but surely working its way into the norm, the stirring debate still stands.