The Great Grade Bailout

There is a great inequity in justice in our public school systems.  I refer, of course, to the fact that some students have higher grades than others.  This can only be the result of institutional disenfranchisement, and must be corrected by government intervention.  Besides, our nation’s future faces catastrophic academic failure if we don’t artificially prop it up now.

By which I mean, the failing students need a bailout.

All of those kids who are only half as likely to do any kind of studying or homework as they are to even show up at all will be granted a special dispensation from the Department of Education, something in the neighborhood of, say, 800 billion points.  (Though, what with corruption, unforeseen needs, and poor management, that total will likely exceed a trillion points.)

So every slacker who sat there and chose to finish a class with a 2% grade will now get to graduate, which is perfectly fair.  Uncle Sam will guarantee the success of every student in America.  After all, what with the obesity epidemic, most American kids are “too big to fail.”

Where will these new points come from?  For now, the Department of Education will print new points for these students to use.  The devaluation of academic credits caused by this necessary deficit spending will put the diplomas of the diligent hard workers out there “under water,” as it were, making them upside down in the investment they made in their course work.  That shortchanging of the reward these students were promised for their effort–having a quality record to put on résumés and college applications–will be a small price to pay for leveling the playing field for those whose socio-economic backgrounds made it impossible for them to, you know, show up and pay attention. 

Ultimately, though, points will need to be confiscated from honors students and redistributed to those in need.  So many points will be needed in order to prop up the rampant wave of ignorant, lazy students who have gotten so far behind on their course work that they’ve been “foreclosed” on and finished high school without a diploma, that honors students for the next three generations will be have to contribute the points they’ll earn on class work in order to pay off the balance. 

But those honor students have an unfair monopoly on resources, anyway.  It’s not like there’s an infinite potential for each and every student to earn as many points in class as they want, based on their own hard work and talent; clearly, there’s a finite supply of learning out there, and that means that students who get an A are doing it at the expense of those poor students who are forced to fail by a system that’s biased against them. 

Taking these points away from straight-A students will only be correcting the wrongs of a “class” war that we’ve allowed to exist for far too long.

And besides, if nothing else, our job as teachers is to prepare kids for life, right?  These days, this new policy would do that better than anything else I can think of. 

Welcome to the real world, kids.


Resposted from May 2009


6 comments on “The Great Grade Bailout

  1. The analogy may be a bit stilting, but at the same time, very keen. You may have a diploma, but it won’t get you work opportunities, because any punk could have one.

    And, if by happenstance you are able to land one–nepotism, most likely–what are you going to do?

    However, as a student of Micro- and Macroeconomics, I must remind that national economies are different than those of households or small businesses.

    Fiscal policy may require, for example, the printing of a lot of banknotes, because people can’t or won’t use their credit cards; haven’t you seen the move to cash economy?

    And the printed banknotes are given to people, who are withdrawing cash from their accounts to function in the cash economy; also to people, who qualify for a loan, which they choose to take out in cash.

    In this scenario, for example, the amount of cash floating around grows, but does it cause inflation? Only if there’s a shortage of the goods they need.

    I will not give a longer lecture on the basics of economy in this context, but I hear so much hot air about the “printing money” thing, that I just feel I must correct it a little bit in an arena, where I haven’t seen the raving lunatics.

    I agree that bailing out the banks was immoral, especially when people, who got us into hot water, are getting richly rewarded for that with taxpayer money from future earnings.

  2. Dear sir,
    I would be happy to accept a position in your department of grade adjustment. My heart burns with a passion for equality, civil service, and generous pensions.

  3. Great piece. The shift of responsibility from the student to the teacher is fascinating. It could be productive because the teacher is compelled to be more and more proactive in a student’s success instead of just letting them “fail” but it could well disable and dis-empower the child when they realize the onus of learning isn’t on them as it should be for life, especially as executed by the a ham-handed bureaucracy.

  4. dala, if you search for “Harrison Bergeron” on this blog, you’ll see it’s one of my favorites and I refer to it often.

    Stephen, absolutely. My education post last week was along the same lines.

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