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Monday, October 7, 2013

NEVER GOT AN A - a cranky re-run

This cranky re-run is from October 2011

My thirteen year old son’s last report card had three A’s and two B’s.  Of course I am very proud.  I am also perplexed.  Spence is in eight grade and already he has three A’s.  From eight grade through high school and then four years of college, except for health and phys-ed, I never got an A.

I am not bragging that I never got an A, I am just confused.  What has happened to our system that an A is now commonplace.  Spencer is pretty bright; maybe he deserves the A’s, maybe.  Maybe from all the proud parent of an honor roll student bumper stickers I see, maybe our grading system has been watered down.

In my day (this phrase is the first sign of the onslaught of becoming an old fart) teachers would never give more than ten percent of their class an A.  They would also give ten percent of their class a D or less.  I think today’s teachers just do not want to argue with today’s parents.

Today’s parents, parents that played Beethoven to the womb, bought the “My Baby Can Read” program nonsense, only show educational DVD’s on TV and have had tutors for their little geniuses since age four, will not accept that their child might just be average. 

It used to be the teacher is always right, now it is give them an A or prepare to fight.

If only when these children are adults, their employers are as nice as their teachers.  “Give me a raise, or my mommy will come in and yell at you!”

I did have one eight-grade teacher, in my day, who was too “nice” to give a bad grade.  I had failed two tests in this class and had a 60, or F average.  I was acting up in class one day and she threatened me, “Young man, if you don’t behave I will give you a D for the day.”  Wise-ass me answered, “A D?  That will raise my average.”  (Sorry, I like that story and had to find somewhere to slip it into my blog.)

I’m glad I never got an A.  I never deserved an A, and had to work pretty hard for a B.  I got a bunch of B’s, maybe more than C’s, and I was proud of them.  It feels good to earn something, even if it is not the gold ring. 

I hope Spencer earned his A’s and feels good about them.  Maybe he is just in a really smart class.  He must be, because in his class of twenty-two, fifteen received A’s.   


  1. In a world where parents routinely pay their children for "A"s, it has come to mean only "acceptable" and then, barely. I agree with you that if everything is handed out so easily there is nothing to strive for. I think the grading system is obsolete and needs revamping, along with our education system as a whole. More and more bright students are graduating without the ability to spell words correctly, balance a checkbook, or fill out a job application. We're clearly missing the mark!

  2. 15 A's out of 22 grades is ridiculous!!

  3. In school I was a solid "B" student although I don't believe I ever received a "B" grade. I got all "A"s in Art, English and history, and all "C's in math, science and PE. It averaged out to a "B".

  4. Is that what they mean by "no child left behind"?

    I graduated HS #100 out of 469 in my class. I always wondered, if I had tried a little harder, could I have made it to double digits? *kids today have it made*


  5. No more grading on the curve, so no more equal numbers of "A"s and "F"s, "B"s and "D"s. Gotta give everyone an award at the end of the year. Teach to the lowest common denominator. A plethora of remedial programs, no money for the gifted. Don't grade in red pen, it hurts their self-esteem. Make your lessons fun because their attention span is short.

    Yeah. Thank goodness my school is not like that. Yet. Common Core is coming.

    I look out over today's graduates, and weep a single valedictorian tear.

  6. I've written about 4 posts over the years that pertain to some aspect of school and education. As a parent of 3 teen girls, it must be that I'm searching and seeking for "anything!" that will help me understand the education process.

    All kids are unique which means you can't have something specifically tailored for each one of them, but %^$#, why do they all have to be treated the same?! It urks me to have to play this game of "Gotta be the best" that most of us are suckered into for fear of the kids not making it in life.

    Sooo... bring on the As. lol

  7. ps. No As for you, huh? And look where that gotcha. :)

    Reading about your son has calmed me down after seeing the D on my daughter's interim. We should support them, regardless (whatever the grade)...right?