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Home / News / Culture Watch / Number of “F” grades soaring as schools close
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Number of “F” grades soaring as schools close

Many people have speculated that school lockdowns are hurting students and grades, and new research backs them up. The number of students receiving “F” marks is soaring this year in the Fairfax, Va., school district as reported in Metro Voice.

“Among middle and high schools students, there was an 83 percent increase in the number of students receiving two or more F marks,” the study said. The study analyzed marks at the end of the first quarter in the school year 2020-21 compared to marks from the school year 2019-20.

The amount of increase among racial/ethnic, gender and other student groups was highest among students with disabilities, at 111 percent, followed by English-learner students at 106 percent. The study “follows on the heels of concerns locally and at the state and national level that student performance may be lower during the current year when virtual instruction is prevalent than in past years when in-person instruction was the norm.”

The increase was 63 percent among black students and 67 percent among white studentsBottom of Form

“Nonetheless, all groups showed increases in the percentage of F marks received during Q1 of the current year as compared to the prior year, indicating that more students were failing courses during the (primarily) virtual instruction period than had occurred when instruction was delivered in-person,” the study said.

“The Washington Post” noted that Fairfax teachers were asked to provide additional flexibility on deadlines and allow test retakes to make online learning easier for the students. However, an anonymous Fairfax high school teacher was quoted as saying that he followed the guidance and still, 50 to 70 percent of his 150 students were achieving Ds and Fs while they had earned Bs and Cs earlier.

Many schools closed their doors and turned to virtual learning to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Churches and faith organizations stepped in to provide spaces for students to learn as parents were unable to stay home or internet access was unavailable.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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