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In Chicago’s Poorest High Schools, 20% Of Grades Were Fs

At the height of the pandemic, even when her school discouraged it, Chicago public high school teacher Anna Lane traveled to her students’ homes to stand on porches and listen to their struggles. Using money she helped raise through a mutual aid fund, she often brought groceries or cash assistance so their families could pay their bills.

Now, days before Chicago Public Schools lets out for the summer, Lane and other teachers are facing an agonizing situation. They have students who missed a lot of class or have done little work, yet they know that some of them have been depressed or overwhelmed by the havoc wrought by the pandemic.

They wonder if giving their students an F is the right thing to do, especially for underclassmen. Research shows just one F in freshman or sophomore year can doom a student’s chances of making it to graduation.

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