The MORE caucus believes that it is inequitable to cumulatively grade academic work for the remainder of this academic year for student’s permanent records. Given the losses and traumas that the coronavirus pandemic has created and exacerbated, especially for our public schools students who are majority low-income and students of color, as well as the wide range of home circumstances our students face, including lack of space, internet, time and support, this is unacceptable. While the new DOE policy does make some concessions to the current crisis, it does not go far enough in remedying the deep inequity inherent to remote learning.
We are disappointed that in crafting this policy, the DOE surveyed parents but failed to openly ask educators or students for any input. We are experienced professionals in daily contact with our students and their families. We understand their needs better than the Chancellor, Michael Mulgrew or the Mayor. Parents and educators have spoken out for a more humane policy. And yet, this grading policy was released with seemingly little input from either teachers or our students themselves. The parent-only survey that was sent out was built to be biased: the parents with the language access, technology, and time to complete such a survey are much more likely to fill it out and provide feedback.
If the DOE wants its policies to be appropriate to the current reality, they must actively solicit input from a wide range of parents as well as teachers and students. Please stand with us as we raise our voices together to condemn this inequitable grading policy and demand more stakeholder input.