A New Social(ist) Standard…No more “F”s

So I started the thread the other night to discuss the public education system in America. We didn’t even get a couple of days away from that and this new story pops up in the news today. Remember how we discussed the fact that we eliminate sports games so that there are no winners and losers? Wel now there are no failures in the academic portion of school as well. When will we stop coddling our children and teach them what the real world holds?

The school district in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has decided that when a high school student fails a class in their district, that the student will not be issued a failing grade. They will instead be issued a grade of “H”. The H stands for Help. I am not making this up. The student will then be given a second chance to “turn that frown upside down” and turn their “H” into a passing grade. 

The superintendent of the district says that this is a necessary step in order to keep kids from failing their classes. Because if they fail their classes they cannot meet the states “unnecessarily strict” guidelines of finishing high school in 4 years. I agree, there is no reason we should be expecting high school students to complete 4 years of school in just 4 years. It reminds me of the Tommy Boy exchange between Chris Farley and David Spade:

David: Congratulations on finishing college, it only took you 7 years.

Chris: Lots of guys take 7 years to finish college.

David: Yes, they’re called “Doctors”

Let’s take a look at the results that this school district has been able to achieve in the past. During the past year the Grand Rapids School District had 4100 students in High School. During that year the school issued 2300 grades of “F”. I can see why they want to eliminate the letter from their report cards. That letter is a big fat representation of the success the district has in teaching children.

I feel that this is just another example of the public school systems failing our children. Much like the teachers unions, who when Virginia prospective teachers couldn’t pass the certification exams, the unions stepped in and sued the state to force them to lower the standard so that they could be passed more easily. Don’t make the teachers better, make the qualifications worse. 

Don’t make the students smarter, make the grades they receive nicer. This is ridiculous. Let’s be clear here that when a student receives an F in a class it is rarely because they were simply unable to comprehend the subject matter. Think back to high school. Did you receive any F’s? If you answered yes, can you honestly say that it was the teacher’s fault or the fact that you weren’t smart enough to learn it? Or would you instead say that you didn’t put a priority on completing homework or studying for the tests? I would venture to guess that the answer there was B. 

It takes some work to actually fail a class in high school. You really have to dedicate yourself to not completing work and not studying for tests. And the reward in Grand Rapids is that you get to take it again and erase that “H”. Because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by telling them that they failed to meet the standard. 

To me this is one more example of how the public schools are so intent on making everyone feel good that they are in no way preparing our children for what the real world is like. The next time you fail a drug test at your job, tell them you would like a “H” instead of a “F”. You want another shot at passing. When you are a doctor and the patient dies, tell the family you would like a “H” and a second chance. See where it gets you.

I see this as one more event that proves my premise that we need to privatize education and get our schools back to teaching children in a way that prepares them for what is to come, instead of extending their grace period for entering the real world. But I am open to debate the issue. What do you guys think?


  1. When I got an F in high school it was because I refused to do what I considered “busywork” that cut into my free time. It didn’t kill me and I wasn’t damaged by the experience. In fact, I am still glad to have “bought” some extra free time at the “cost” of an F. Touchy-feely “thinking” is so ridiculous.

  2. This type of coddling does nothing to prepare people for the future. If people do not perform, I fire them. Yes, I am one of the minority who hold people accountable for their actions but I am lucky enough to work for a company who promotes hard work, and has no sympathy for those who do not live up to expectations. Lately, I have seen more and more 20 somethings start working for my company and not staying around because they complain that we take work too seriously. This generation does not understand that people make good money because they worked their tail off to get to a certain position. They expect this to fall into their laps after graduation and make $100,000 a year. Give me a break.

    Lets start making teachers, students, and PARENTS accountable for grades in school. This basic lesson must be taught in our schools or we can forget the future workforce.

  3. I actually think this is a good idea…now hear me out. What we should do is tag these kids like they do to animals in the wild, this way we can see how well they do later in life. Twenty years down the road when all those tagged kids are living under bridges with badly spelled “please give” signs then perhaps Michigan will finally realize how they failed the kids.

  4. lingeringmethane says:

    There is nothing to debate, you are right on with this. Us union members recieved plenty of F’s in our grade school careers.
    These kids need to know failure, without it they will never truely know and appriciate success

  5. That is funny Thedoyle, and would be an interesting experiment. While we cannot legally tag kids, I wonder what a study of the homeless would show us if we researched their lives and learned what decisions led to their current situation. Would we find your theory to be true, or would we find that the homeless are actually all the brainless homecoming kings and queens who got through school on popularity instead of thinking?

  6. Well said lingering. Success cannot be appreciated without knowing failure.

  7. “Would we find your theory to be true, or would we find that the homeless are actually all the brainless homecoming kings and queens who got through school on popularity instead of thinking?”

    Why can’t it be both? There’s no limit on homelessness as far as I know. Tho to be fair, sometimes popularity can still get you places, but unpopular and dumb gets you nowhere.

  8. It certainly can be both. I just wanted to take a shot at the kings and queens who were more popular than me. I had a shot, and I took it, lol.

  9. The only “F” I received in school was in algebra, and much of the grade was due to my own laziness, admitedly, my math skills are awful, (really, I just don’t have math skills) but I could have applied myself better. Believe me, I am paying the price today of my willfulness. But damn, to not be held accountable for your actions….what a world we are leaving to our children. Just found this website, I like it!

    • USWeapon says:


      Glad you are enjoying the site. I think you will find that while we all argue our points here, we do so respectfully and in the purpose of educating ourselves and others while finding some common ground to move forward on.

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