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September 25, 2003


The Flea shudders to learn of this latest retreat from, like, you know, teaching students anything. Even mathematical truths are not safe from a system which deems answers to be "creditworthy" or "not creditworthy" instead of correct or incorrect.

Pupils across Lincolnshire may soon be able to sit exams without fear of failing, when new government guidelines come into effect. The guidelines, for marking key national curriculum exams, recommend that the current F grade, for 'fail', should be replaced with an N grade, for 'nearly'.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 25, 2003 04:40 AM


I'd like to see little Tommy's expression at his first job. Real life has little use for "nearly passing" or "creditworthy." You fail, you're fired. We do our children a gross injustice when we teach them there are no rights or wrongs.

Posted by: Ian at September 25, 2003 05:13 AM

I have to agree with this! My college had various grades...I just missed the flirtation it had with "C" (for credit) and "N/C" (no credit). Thanks, I'd rather know a little more about how I'm doing--and when I've completely screwed it up.

New Jersey is starting to show the same trends as other states--teach the kids to pass a test, not to get through life. Skills and subjects beyond that core (to pass) are ignored.

Sure, Latin did not get me a job. But, taking Latin helped teach me discipline, helped to make me a well-rounded person, helped me to appreciate other cultures. I hate to see what happens when we eliminate the fringes just to pigeonhole everyone into a test category.

Could Newton have passed these tests? Einstein? Feynman? Galileo?

How about Nash? It seems to me that winning the Nobel Prize means that not only do you have to have failure in life, but you have to think outside of that standardized test category.

During the late 50's/early 60's we were in a state of panic because it appeared we were losing the "Cold War" when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and showed (we thought) a superior educational system. How long before we just fade into nothingness because we are afraid of having a kid "fail"?

Posted by: Fred Kiesche at September 25, 2003 02:34 PM