It's bad enough that Pittsburgh Public Schools are some of the worse in the state, but now they've gone to a new level of idiocy by mandating that no child can be given a grade lower than 50% on any assignment or test. Seriously, you could just sleep through the test and still get a 50% (though no official response has been made confirming if you still get a 50% even if you don't show up and write your name on the test).
What kind of message is this sending our kids? While the intent is to not harshly penalize students who show marked improvement throughout the semester for their slow start, this is telling kids that even if they don't do any of the work, they can still get half credit. Great! Now when they get a job, they'll think they can still get half their pay if they do nothing at all! Unfortunately, that will only get them a pink slip in the end.
It really begs the question of how the schools in our country are being run. In my opinion, way too much time is spent trying to get students to pass and make the “numbers look good”, and not enough time encouraging and nourishing learning habits in children. Once the school systems and government realize that, maybe we'll get a change in the system!