Regarding the "culture of dishonesty," one also has to ask for every case of manipulating standardized test scores, how many teachers are asked or ordered to change grades, how many kids get bogus "credit recovery," and how is that affected by the need to juke the graduation rate? And how much more does all this poison the well for alternative assessments?
I learned a new one this year. I agreed to the ZAP grading system where zeros are recorded as a 50. I've always done well in motivating kids, including second semester seniors without grades.
Under that system and the way our computerized grade book is programmed, if you have a B in February then you are statistically guaranteed of passing. So, if the school doesn't enforce the attendance policy, you don't need to go to class from March onward.
Only four of my seniors (I mostly have sophomores)took advantage of that system and disappeared in March, but it was four kids where I lost the opportunity to teach and have last semester relationships. And if they try to go to college next year, they'll realize that they got cheated by a system that encouraged them to cheat.
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