Schools confront 'off the rails' numbers of failing grades

Posted at 8:56 PM, Dec 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-06 23:56:41-05

(AP) — The first report cards of the new school year are arriving with a lot more Fs than usual, and it’s not just parents who are getting distressed.

School districts from coast to coast have reported the number of students failing classes has risen by as many as two or three times — a sign of the struggles many students are having with distance learning. English language learners, those with disabilities, and other disadvantaged students have been at particular risk.

Educators see a number of factors at play: Students learning from home skip assignments — or school altogether.

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Internet access is limited or inconsistent, making it difficult to complete and upload assignments.

In response schools have been ramping up outreach efforts, prioritizing the return of struggling students for in-person learning and in some cases changing grading policies and giving students more time to complete assignments.