Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What the F?

The other night, I heard a Hillsborough County (Florida) educator talk about something that nearly blew my mind: they have a grade called a "Passing F". Basically, that means they use a scale of A, B, C, D Passing F and Failing F. He was adamant that this exists but I have been looking for it on Google and can find no official reference to it. I asked a friend of mine who also works for the school system (not as a teacher) who said he'd never heard of it but is aware of a certificate of completion that is sometimes issued in lieu of a letter grade, and maybe that's what it is. They do sound like the same thing: the teacher can't see fit to award a passing a grade and live with themselves afterward but recognize that this is as far as a particular knucklehead is ever going to go and let's move him on down the line already, fer chrissakes. Here ya go, Biff. A Certificate of Completion or Passing F!
"Hey, I see Biff finally passed your class!"
"Not exactly. I just got tired of looking at his dumb face as every chunk of knowledge I tried to impart ricocheted harmlessly off his impenetrably thick skull."
"Well, at least the system works!"
It sure does! Biff's dad then gets him into the University of Florida, he becomes a lawyer, then an elected official who works on education reform and shortly after that, we all starve and/or freeze to death because we're too stupid to deserve anything better.

I would like to have been able to drop the concept of Passing F on my father, though. Hoo boy, that would have been awesome! The resultant devastation to my non-existent social life would have been worth it just to see the expression on his face.
"No dad, it's okay! It's a Passing F! See?"
Dad was much smarter than me, though, and he would have recovered quickly.
"Oh, a Passing F! That's all right then. Consider this a celebratory grounding."
"So, um, we're not going to McDonald's?"
"Guess who got four out of a possible 78, is now eligible for football next semester and can't sit down for a week?"

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