Teacher explains what ‘equitable’ means for her job – Chicago Tribune

Regarding the letter “What ‘equitable grading’ means” (June 8): “Equitable” means to be fair and impartial. As an educator who happens to be a moderate Republican, my job is to try to meet students where they are and then help them achieve to meet the standards and requirements of their grade level.

Equitable grading means that even if an 11th grader reads at a fourth grade level, I have to grade that student’s work to meet him at that fourth grade level and try to help him achieve the 11th grade standard at least at a passing level. He might not get there, but I have to be as fair and impartial as I can be. And that means it shouldn’t matter who his parent is, or if he is an athlete or a key member of the engineering or math or theater or whatever team, or if he is a charming young man or an insolent brat. I have to grade his work, not him.

Equitable grading means that even if a student has some sort of learning challenge or disability and the school doesn’t have the means to support her outside of the classroom, I have to meet her where she is and try to help her achieve the grade level standards.

Equitable grading means that regardless of a student’s skin color, socioeconomic background, individualized education program, 504, list of accommodations, extracurricular activities, or parent or guardian roles or influence, I have to meet all students where they are and help them, to the best of their abilities, achieve the standards for that grade level.

Some will succeed. Some will fail. Not all will succeed to the same level or degree, but my students should never believe or sense or feel that I treated them any differently than any other student. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I fail.

Every educator has stories. We have so many stories. There is a student behind every single story. And our job, which is nonpartisan, is to try to treat every student and every student’s work as fairly and impartially as we can.

That is equitable grading.

— Elaine J. Roberts, Barrington

I read that the Biden administration is canceling $5.8 billion in Corinthian College student loans. That’s a nice gesture. Is the Department of Justice going after the Corinthian board of directors? Maybe the Jan. 6 committee can take this up when it’s done.

What happened to all of the cash from the loans? Seems this Corinthian problem came up during the Obama administration. Why is it coming to light again now? Does the Biden administration owe this to the Obama administration?

I’m a father like many other fathers who worked a ton of overtime and extra jobs to pay for my children’s education. Is the Biden administration going to pay me back for all the schooling I paid for?

— Larry Geraghty, Tinley Park

Between Millennium Park and Navy Pier is a summer Chicago treasure — the Centennial Fountain on the Chicago River. It is an outstanding water fountain highlighted every hour by a water cannon that shoots an arch over the river to everyone’s delight.

It is long overdue to display its beauty. Please turn it on! It honors top engineering from more than 100 years ago: the reversal of the river from emptying into the lake. It sent the water south, thus keeping our drinking water clean.

You can do it, Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Just say the word!

— Louise M. Murphy, Chicago

While I’m no fan of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the woman can fight off the ropes. She’s answered the bell and is coming out for round two. Hopefully her footwork has improved, and she’s cleared her head.

The mayor hits hard. If she goes more to her opponents’ bodies, she’ll get the decision.

— Bruce R. Hovanec, Chicago

It’s time for the adults in the room to take over the narrative. By adults, I mean “moderates” on both sides — Democrats and Republicans. We need to put an end to allowing the extremists on the left and the right to spew hatred and division.

It’s time to play nice and compromise, guys. We need to start a “moderate” movement or political party before hate consumes us all and destroys our country!

One suggestion might be for the news media to cease giving the extremists a voice.

— Dean Pritza, Orland Park

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