B.C. teachers' strike: students with failing grades 'bumped' to a pass
B.C. school district memo explains students with 40 per cent average to get passing mark
The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows School District has sent a memo to teachers explaining grades 10 and 11 students will receive final marks based on an average of their first two terms. According to the memo, marks will then be "'bumped", to ensure any student with a mark higher than 39 per cent receives a passing mark.
George Serra, the president of the Maple Ridge Teachers' Association, confirms the memo was sent to teachers, and says the school district will calculate marks for teachers to review. Serra believes excluding the final third of the school year when determining a final mark, isn't fair to students, or their parents.
"We are simply guessing, so I don't know how parents are going to feel about a final grade — that is going to be an official grade on a transcript of some sort later — that is guesswork," said Serra.
The memo refers to the essential service order from the Labour Relations Board, that ensures grades 10 and 11 students receive their final marks. It informs teachers final marks will be based on an average of the first two terms, with the following exceptions (all numbers are percentages):
- If average calculated at 40 to 49, students will be bumped to 50
- If average calculated at 63 to 66, students will be bumped to 67
- If average calculated at 69 to 72, students will be bumped to 73
- If average calculated at 82 to 85, students will be bumped to 86
The memo asks Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows teachers to submit final marks for grades 10 and 11 by Thursday at noon. Serra says teachers will have the final say on marks, but says as they are locked out, without access to their records they will also have to guess at the appropriate mark.
"The fact that this government has tried to justify to the public that they are concerned about marks, but then create quite a sham process around what that mark is going to be, is really concerning for teachers," said Serra.
It's unclear how many other school districts are implementing a similar marking system. CBC has called the Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association and the Surrey School District — the two largest school districts in the province — and will update when confirmation is received.
The news comes on the same day it was revealed essay questions are being removed from some provincial exams.