Los Angeles Public Schools Are Increasingly Passing Students Who Don’t Meet Grade-Level Standards
Students attending Los Angeles public schools are facing astounding declines in academic performance. If you looked at their report cards, you’d hardly know it.
Despite a drop in test scores, a rising number of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are receiving A’s, B’s, and C’s. The shift—where, in some grades and subjects, as many as four out of every five students receive A, B, and C grades, while only one in five met grade-level benchmarks—has left thousands of struggling students with limited access to academic help. The trend is likely the result of a districtwide policy encouraging grade inflation which has left many parents frustrated. “Everybody said [my son] was fine,” one mother told the Los Angeles Times. “He was getting those A’s and Bs… [but] it was not reflecting his understanding of the curriculum and his mastery of the curriculum.”
Scores of students attending LAUSD schools are attaining A’s, B’s, and C’s despite failing to meet grade-level benchmarks—a trend that bucks the district’s own policies, which require a C grade only when the student “understands state standards.” According to a recent Los Angeles Times report on the subject, among the district’s 11th graders, 73 percent earned A’s, B’s, and C’s, while only 19 percent met grade-level testing benchmarks. Among sixth graders, 85 percent earned A’s, B’s, and C’s, while only 40 percent met grade-level benchmarks.
Making matters worse, the number of students failing to meet academic standards—yet receiving A’s, B’s, and C’s—is growing, as the district’s test scores have plummeted after the pandemic, while their number of A, B, and C grades has climbed. According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2019, 67 percent of seventh graders earned an A, B, or C grade in math—a nu
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