Should Students Receive D’s?


By: Paola Rodriguez and Jasmine Minjarez

LAUSDs grading scale is much different from most Green Dot schools, such as APB. LAUSD grades students using an A through F scale, while APB grades students using an A through C and F scale — there is no D. The purpose for not having a D grade is to prepare students for college, since in college there is no D grade. College considers a D as an F, so what would be the purpose to giving students a D if it’s considered the same thing as an F? Also not including the D as a grade gives students more motivation to do better since there are more possibilities for them to fail the class.

However, should student be able to Ds as a grade? Most  students interviewed mostly agreed that the grading system should remain how it is now. While interviewing junior Esmeralda Hernandez, she stated, “No because it’s meant to prepare us for college, and  in college they don’t have Ds so what’s the point? I consider [getting a D] bad, [because] I feel like if I had a D, it would be like if I had an F.” Just like Esmeralda many students believe that a D as just as same as an F.

If the school decides to include Ds in the grading system, students would likely not put as much effort in their classes since they do not have to worry about failing the class. However, when interviewing students, they mostly agree that they will put in the same effort in class as before. Freshman, Rut Jimenez said, “I would not put less effort into my class knowing I could get a D.” In general, students will continue to try their hardest to get the best grade possible, including not getting a D as their grade.

APB tries to help out students who can not maintain a good grade. Therefore, they give them a D-contract that allows them to have Ds as their grade because they are more likely to fail the class. By giving them the contract they help students pass their classes, but you don’t get to just ask for the contract, it is only given to you if administration or teachers see that you need it.

Not a lot of people know about the D contract, since not everyone gets to have it. For example, when interviewing junior Melanie Alarcon she commented, “… I heard that there is a D contract.” A small amount of students know about the contract since a little amount of students have this contract since only half of the grades are able to if they meet the requirements.

The D contract started in the first APB school year in 2006, approximately 12 years ago. Mr. Pickering said “At the end of 10th grade if people are in severe trouble with not getting their diploma, then Ds can be an option, but the trouble is Ds don’t get you anything more than a high school diploma. So they aren’t accepted by any four year colleges, so it’s a serious decision that’s made with parents and counselors and the student.”   

The purpose of this, according to Vice Principal Ms.Brown, was to give all students a chance in being able to succeed. Ms.Brown says “We figured if we took away the possibility of a D, students would work harder to get a C or a C- which colleges do look at. If you fail you know your forced  to retake the class and hopefully pass it so either way it’s pushing you towards passing the first time or retake the class so you can eventually pass it.” Basically, the purpose is so you can work harder and have a better chance at getting into the college you want. 

Personally, we feel as if GreenDot is correct in not including Ds in the grading system. The whole purpose is to prepare students for college, and APB is a college prep school. Therefore, not including Ds in the grading system, should not affect us. Seeing that most students would not let their grades drop to Ds a, and would keep the same effort towards maintaining or boosting their grades even if Ds were included in the grading system.