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Vote ‘yes’ on Article 8

Article 8 on the April 9th Merrimack School District Warrant: returns control of grading practices to the individual classroom teacher; restores grade reporting equity to its previous norms; and, brings back confidence in our school district which then equates to maintaining higher property values. Whether your student is pursuing merit-based scholarships to a top-tier college, or struggles to maintain good grades and needs every opportunity to succeed at school, or even if you don’t have children in the school system but want to maintain good property values, then you should vote ‘yes’ on Article 8.

The current homework policy and protocol continue to confuse parents and teachers, which still require students to complete an average of 60-180 minutes of homework per night, but without the teachers’ ability to include any grades from homework as part of the final GPA. Article 8 instructs the school board to ditch the confusing protocol and to re-establish, in writing, exactly how homework counts. This is mandated by state regulation, but has been largely ignored by the school district. Homework will – once again – be collected, reviewed, and graded. But most importantly, it will be counted towards the final GPA – at the teacher’s discretion.

Last year, Merrimack teachers soundly rejected the current homework protocol 3-to-1 in two closed, anonymous surveys. But, this school board has continued to kick the can down the road on the zero-grade homework policy, and has largely ignored the complaints of its citizenry, instead stating that the board needs more data. After two years of this failed experiment, how much more “data” does the school board need? Article 8 fixes that problem. And it brings back common sense, too.

Passing Article 8 restores Merrimack high school seniors to a level playing field with other students competing for college acceptance and merit-based scholarship opportunities. And, it also helps students at the lower end of the spectrum to pass classes and graduate with dignity and grace. And finally, voting for Article 8 will help maintain higher property values. Vote ‘yes’ on Article 8.

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