Teacher: Lets review class...what did we learn today?
Little Johnny: Oh, call on me Ms. Smith, I know!!
Teacher: Ok, little Johnny, tell us what we learned.
Little Johnny: We learned that hard work and diligence are for suckers. We learned that when we go out the in real world and get a job employers better not expect too much of us because we don't know that decisions have consequences. Oh, and I almost forgot...we also learned why Barack Obama and Phil Bredesen and Karl Dean, when faced with one of the most important decisions of their lives, i.e., where to send their own precious children to school, they chose NOT to send their children to a public school.
Teacher: Why, thank you Johnny, you are so mediocre, but that's not a bad thing.
Besides allowing make-up time during the day, Bearden Middle School officials also are trying a controversial grading policy that ensures students can't receive a grade below a 60. So, for example, where a failing student might in the past have scored a 10, 20 or 30, under the new method they're ensured of getting at least a 60.
Such a mark is still considered failing. But under the new scale, the student isn't penalized nearly as much for a poor mark when that is averaged with other, presumably improved work, said Bearden Middle assistant principal David Bailey.
"For those kids who are doing the work and are really trying … they can't recover from a zero, but they can recover from a 60," he said. "It gives them hope."