Believe me, we’re not giving out any trophies here. Ask my students when I continually send them back to revise their work before I accept it. In the meantime, I will use the “I” — an incomplete — until the student has demonstrated at least an adequate level of proficiency in the skills and understandings I want them to master. My grading scale at the end of each term is A, B, C, I. I don’t mess around with D’s and E’s because it means they don’t get it. But the difference is that I will hang with them until they do.
In the traditional system, a student is passed on to the next level with a 59.5% D-. Please explain to me how this saves us from “societal downfall.”