DOE updates grading policy so students won't be penalized for late work, attendance amid COVID


In the era of remote learning, the Department of Education implemented an updated grading policy for the remainder of the academic year.

According to final guidelines provided to The Post, students won’t have their grades lowered for late work or lack of attendance this year.

“Schools must ensure that their grading policies and practices acknowledge the impact of remote and blended learning models on the ways in which students must complete their assigned work,” a document mailed to principals reads.

The DOE cited COVID as the reason for adjusting expectations.

Per the guidelines, schools are “encouraged to lessen or eliminate penalties for late work beyond these deadlines.” Attendance also no longer correlates to grades.

DOE deputy press secretary Danielle Filson said each school can select a grading scale that best fits the needs of students.

“This year’s grading policy maintains a high bar for student achievement and keeps our students engaged, while being responsive to the flexibility our families need in the ongoing pandemic,” Filson said, per PIX 11. “Schools will select a grading scale that meets the needs of their community with a high expectation and the necessary flexibility to best support New York City students.”

Instead of failing grades, students will be given opportunities to make up work.

Depending on the grade, parents will have the option to swap a numeric grade this year and opt for a “meets standards” or “pass” mark that will not be counted towards the cumulative overall score.

When issuing final grades, schools and teachers will be asked to consider the student’s full year work and individual circumstances.

While one Queens principal said the changes were reasonable in light of the current situation, many parents and faculty criticized the new approach saying it didn’t hold students accountable.

“These kids are going to be thrown into life with no tools and no sense of accountability,” said Bronx mom Veronica Flores. “This is not how the world works. No one is going to hand you anything.”

While she agrees that the DOE should offer more flexibility with remote learning, she believes the DOE is loosening the reins too much.

“The have nots are being treated like can nots,” she said. “I get that this is motivated by sensitivity. But in the end it’s only going to further the divide.”

Another Manhattan teacher said that the approach makes it difficult to “know if a student is excelling or falling behind.”

“I’m not sure if that helps them,” she explained to The Post.

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