Fredericton — Only three years after introducing a new evaluation system for New Brunswick students, the “achievement scale” system is getting a failing grade from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
The provincial government announced today that beginning in the 2018-19 school year, they will be abandoning the system of achievement scale grading. In its place, the Education department will be rolling out a grading system based on something that all modern children can relate to — the emoji.
“We used to have letter grades and percentages,” explained Education Minister Brian Kenny. “And sure, that worked pretty well for over 100 years here and all over the world. But what do those grades really tell you about that student?
“For example, did Sally really answer 90 percent of the questions right on that test? Maybe in one person’s opinion — like the teacher — yes. But, in someone else’s opinion — like a parent — maybe not. To the parent, maybe that grade should be 107 percent.
“See, it was all so subjective. So, we thought if we told parents what ‘ranges’ of achievement that the students were in, it would lead to fewer parents bitching at us over marks.
“Honestly, it went over like a wet fart in a hot car,” admitted Minister Kenny. “The kids still feel so evaluated. The application of a uniform system of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers doesn’t say anything about that student’s individual point of view on what the answer should be.
“At the end of the day, the student needs to feel valued for speaking their ‘truth’ on what they think the answer is. That’s why we are getting rid of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers, checkmarks and X’s, and everything else that devalues the students’ answers. And, we are replacing them with emojis reflecting how the students’ answers made the teacher feel.
“There are no right or wrong answers,” concluded Kenny, “but rather just emotional interpretations of the truth expressed through smiley faces and other cutesy pictures. I think we really nailed it this time.”
The announcement is getting mixed reactions from education advocates. Some people are all 😆 , while others are 😯 .
“I’ve never been so 👿 in my life,” said Saint John middle-school parent Emily Moji. “Frankly, it’s more 🙄 from this government and they should be 😳 !”