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F for Fantastic
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a recent arrival to Salt Lake City, I was shocked to read about the letter grades being assigned to all the public schools by test scores. This stigmatizes all the teachers in poor neighborhoods as bad, and students attending those schools as dummies.

Why bother to pay all that money for tests to find out what we already know: Children who are unlucky enough to have poor parents, who also may be deficient in the English language, are more likely to fail in school than children who come from middle class or wealthy neighborhoods.

In order to make poor children feel better, why not change the letter grade system. Give an F to the top schools, and let the children of the more affluent schools wear hats labeled F for Fantastic. The poor children will get a scarlet letter A on their caps and feel better about themselves. Only the students from good schools, with so-called good teachers, will know what the scarlet letter really means.

Of course I'm not serious. Change this degrading system before you make Utah and Salt Lake City the laughingstock of the country.

James Cameron

Salt Lake City

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