In the article “Students Fail-and Professor Loses Job,” by Scott Jaschik, Norfolk State
University administration is sending the message to students that it is ok to not attend class and work for their passing grades due to lack of academic readiness. They are a historically black
University and are known for providing education for disadvantaged students. They wanted
Professor Aird to compromise and allow more students to pass; but he doesn’t believe that lowering his grading standards is truly going to help students succeed.
Professor Aird uses phrases such as, “show me how lowering the bar has ever helped anyone.” (1) Lowering the expectations to pass a class would not better students; it would just leave them less prepared for the future and uneducated. Even if someone is at a disadvantage because of where they went to school, the lack of a good education that they received when younger, or where and how they were raised they shouldn’t be able to just slide through college without learning anything. If that were the case earning a college degree would be worthless. Students further their education by attending college to better themselves and earn a degree so they can open doors for better career opportunities.
Norfolk States’ graduation rates are low and the percentage of students who actually attended Airds class is only 66 percent. Passing 70 percent of students who attend the university is the expectation that the administrators have set regardless of if they earn the grade. Passing students that have not truly met the requirements to receive the grades they have been issued does not better them or help them for their future but hinders them and leaves them less educated than the students who received the passing grade they earned. Not only will it hold them back in the long run but it will also set an example for future students that it is okay to not give your best effort while in college.
Dean DeLoatch had several letters in a portfolio of Dr. Aird’s that were written by students who thought Aird was an extraordinary teacher. “The students, some of whom are now in medical or graduate school or who have gone on to win research awards, talked about his extra efforts on their behalf, how he had been a mentor, and so forth.” (3) Clearly Dr. Aird was a professor who cared about his...