The San Diego Unified School District last week approved a major overhaul to its grading system as a part of a larger effort to combat racial discrimination.

The new changes came in response to data that showed disparities between the percentage of white and minority students who received D or F grades, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported

A racial disparity in failing grades has prompted the San Diego Unified School District to overhaul its entire grading system.

A racial disparity in failing grades has prompted the San Diego Unified School District to overhaul its entire grading system. (nj.gov)

According to the data, Black students accounted for about 20% of all D or F grades during the first semester of last year, while Native American and Hispanic students each accounted for 23%. By comparison, white students made up 7% of all D or F grades during that same period.

Under the district’s new system, non-academic factors like late work and classroom behavior will not be counted toward their overall academic grade. 

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SDUSD Vice President Richard Barrera said the overhaul represents the district’s “honest reckoning.”

“If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years,” Barrera said. “I think this reflects a reality that students have described to us and it’s a change that’s a long time coming.”

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The new system, which affects mostly middle school and high school students, will be implemented over this year and next.

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