‘Grades earned not given,’ union says in response to new grading directive

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Homework in the Youngstown School District is being dealt with differently. CEO Krish Mohip has given teachers a directive to not give out a grade for homework lower than 50 percent.

The new way of dealing with poor homework is to give students a second chance rather than simply handing out a zero for work they can’t complete.

“It doesn’t put them into a hole that they can’t come out of because then the motivation to even try is just deteriorated because they are never going to get out of that “F,” Mohip said.

Mohip claims some students don’t have the tools or parental involvement they need at home for after-school assignments and that giving them zeros amounts to punishment. It also may not reflect what that child knows or can do.

“We are doing what is right for the children,” Mohip said.

First News checked in with other school districts in the Valley and found at least one other district, Crestview in Columbiana County, has a similar policy covering all grading.

Youngstown Education Association President Larry Ellis claims the idea violates the current contract, especially if the directive means teachers have to change grades they’ve already given out. He says the union will be filing a grievance.

“It is not fair that if somebody just does not do an assignment that they get the same score as somebody that has worked and tried really hard,” Ellis said. “We want people to understand grades aren’t something that’s given, it’s something a student earns.”

Mohip argues some in the union don’t understand what students are facing. He said there are many extenuating circumstances that go into what “makes the life of a low-income child.”

Mohip believes the final decision is his to make but looks forward to trying to resolve the issue with teachers and their union.