How effective are education standards when a middle school student with a D on his report card makes the honor roll? Not very, admits Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning, who said this week he will ask the School Board to amend honor roll rules to disqualify any student who makes a C or worse. That's appropriate: Honor rolls should be a reflection of overall academic achievement and not simply beating the minimum grade-point average.
Beth Tillack is to be commended for spotlighting the dubious honor roll standard. Infuriated when her Pasco Middle School son, Douglas, brought home a D in civics class but still made the honor roll, she fired off a note to Browning. Tillack was expecting the school to demand a bit more of her son before giving him praise for his 3.16 grade-point average, just barely above the 3.15 cutoff for honor roll. Besides the D, the boy had earned four A's and a C.
"The overall thing is, if a child knows they can do the minimum and get by, what kind of message does that send about the other areas in their life?" she told the Tampa Bay Times.
Browning agreed and said he would ask the School Board to create quarterly all-A and A/B honor rolls by next school year. The board should adopt the change and send a clear message to Douglas and other bright students that just getting by isn't good enough for the honor roll.