Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No more Ds in School

Interestingly, a school district in Mt. Olive, New Jersey has decided to eliminate the grade of D in their system. They noted, "no one wants to be examined by a grade D doctor, no one wants to fly in the plane of a grade D pilot, and no one willingly chooses grade D restaurants." Thus, it seems rather inappropriate, if not unconscionable, to offer a diploma or endorsement of educational progress for students who do grade D work.

Thus, grades will now be A, B, C, and F. In the past, students could earn Ds for work that received between a 64-69%. Not anymore. Anything below a 70% is failing. However, the school is supporting academic interventions - any student who receives an F will have three days to improve the grade to passing, and the school will offer increased resources for remediation.

While I understand some criticisms of this plan, I have to say that my gut tells me this is a good thing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Consumer Watchdog

Nearly ten years ago, I remember watching a Frontline episode about problems with banks, credit card companies, and corrupt corporate leaders. The show interviewed a rather soft-spoken but straightforward Harvard professor who articulated the problems and solutions far more succinctly than I had ever heard. I remember thinking, "Hey, yeah, everyone, and I mean everyone, listen to this woman.

That woman was Elizabeth Warren, the appointed watchdog for TARP funds, and the only logical nominee to lead the new consumer protection wing of the federal government. This issue is well explained in an LA Times profile.

Anyone who doesn't listen to this woman and endorse her for a regulatory role in the federal government is either an idiot, an ideologue blinded by naivete, or an immoral or amoral corporate shill.