A for effort Malia.
72% = C-
54% = F
What kind of fucked up, falsely-inflated grading system is that? One that sets kids up for failure, that’s what. If that’s at all accurate of grades in US high schools, I’m judging the American education system so hard right now.
A well-designed curriculum should have the pass point at 50% (the exception is if it’s an advanced university class in which students must have a near-perfect score to demonstrate professional competency). Basically, the core skills and information should comprise 50% of the material, and the rest is value-adding to deepen understanding, and allowing students room to develop advanced competency.
If the material is well-matched to the cohort, most students should achieve between 55% and 70%, which demonstrates basic competency.
Below 50% (or actually below 55% so that students on the borderline are also flagged) means students are struggling, and have not developed basic competency. They should get an additional intervention if the goal is to get them to competency (or advice to change paths if the goal is to winnow out those unsuited to the material). Above 80% means students have developed an advanced understanding and/or skills in that subject, and should potentially be streamed into a more advanced curriculum.
The shape of good education, in my experience, should skew from a normal distribution curve at the beginning of a module, to an M shape at the end, due to good teaching (because the curve is not longer “normal” after the teaching intervention). That is, students who are struggling will not score much above 50% without extensive additional intervention, and the rest mostly shift up to 60-80% due to effective teaching and their own practice.
Having Malia in classes with her friends and same-age cohort could be made to work, if she’s being given additional tutoring and so on. It has the benefit of her being with a supportive group of students who will help her transition, and that’s a really important part of socialisation and education.
However, what we’re actually seeing is her being left to sink or swim apart from the help of her friendship group, and that’s shit.
I’m leaning towards it not being shit due to bad writing, but rather a pointed commentary on the US education system, especially if that grading scale is accurate. Because holy god does that say bad things about the pedagogy underpinning the curriculum design in American high schools.