Denigration of “C” Students

My 7th Grade English Teacher, Mrs. Willie Ford – God Bless her grammar-loving soul – used to tell us frequently that Abe Lincoln said, “God must love the common man – he made so many of them.” And then she paraphrased it a little by saying, God must love the “C” – he made so many of them.” 

She was not denigrating the “C” student. Far from it. She was promoting that grade as a very acceptable grade.

Every teacher and every administrator and every legislator needs to read this little blog of mine. Today a “C” is equivalent to an “F” from days gone by. Don’t ask me what today’s “F” equals. I don’t have a clue. 

But I do know that if the “C” only equals an “old-style F,” it is because OUR expectations as educators for that “C” are so low. Here is what a “C” would equal in Mickey Dunaway’s school district:

C=On-Grade Level Performance
C=Meets Academic Expectations for Course and Grade
C= College Prepared
C=You Worked Your Butt Off And Are Proud of That “C”

A sad result of this phenomenon is that an “A” is also very often meaningless because it is achieved – no, that’s not right, it is not achieved – it is gotten through extra credit by students who should be getting a “B.” So, if an “A” doesn’t really equal an “A,” then the “B” is also meaningless. Who wants a “B” if they can do a little extra credit and raise it to an “A?” Not me.

Come on, educators. Fix this problem, and testing will go away because once again, the Willie Fords of the world will come back to the classrooms and teach harder, and kids will learn harder than they knew they thought possible!


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